Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s Supreme Leader Leader Ayatollah Ali Hamenei said Friday he understood the anger of protesters over the drought in the southwestern part of the country.
The statement, reported by state television, was the first direct comment on Hamenei’s protest since it began in the Khuzestan region a week ago. A semi-official news agency, Fars News Agency, reported that a man was killed in a shotgun fire in street violence in the nearby city of Arigoudals, where police accused the “counter-revolutionary element.”
“People have complained, but we have no complaints because the water problem in the hot climate of Khuzestan is not a minor issue,” Hamenei said. He accused Iran’s enemies of trying to exploit the situation.
He praised the local people for their loyalty and efforts during the devastating war with Iraq in the 1980s, adding that “people should no longer face problems.”
Protests are taking place in many cities and towns in Khuzestan, according to a group of Iranian human rights activists. Security forces fired tear gas and water cannons and clashed with demonstrators, the group added.
On Friday, Amnesty International said security forces used live ammunition during the protest and urged them not to use it. “It’s scary to use live ammunition against unarmed protesters who do not pose an imminent threat to life,” the statement said.
Iran’s national media had previously reported that police officers and two civilians were killed during protests. It pointed out an online video claiming that the demonstrators had guns. However, Iran has accused protesters of the deaths that occurred during a brute force crackdown by security forces in the past.
According to Internet access advocacy group NetBlocks.org, Iran’s mobile internet service was interrupted during protests.
Protests in Khuzestan went on strike when Iran was suffering from repeated waves of infection in a coronavirus pandemic, and thousands of workers in the oil industry demanded better wages and working conditions. It happens when you are.
Since then, Iran’s economy has also struggled under US sanctions-President Donald Trump’s 2018 decision to unilaterally withdraw the US from nuclear deals with Tehran’s world powers is an Islamic republican currency It destroyed the value of the real world.