Iran continues to witness protests against surging food prices
Iran–Protests against price rises continue across the streets of Tehran in the aftermath of Iranian security forces launching a violent crackdown on the protesters.
Videos and pictures surfaced across social media showing protestors raising flags and shouting slogans against President Ebrahim Raisi and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Protestors have also been demonstrating against the Iranian regime over a crippling economic crisis faced by the country.
As per the videos posted on social media, several cities across Iran, including the northern city of Rasht, the north-eastern city of Neyshabur and the central town of Farsan witnessed protests over the last few days. Speaking to the semi-official ILNA news agency, local lawmaker Ahmad Avai stated that at least one person has been killed during rallies in Dezful city in the southwestern province of Khuzestan. Several protestors faced injuries in the face-off with Iranian security forces.
As per media reports, internet access was cut down and communication was halted for several hours with the aim of disrupting the anti-government protests.
Taking to Twitter, Internet blockage observatory NetBlocks stated that the country observed internet disruption for several hours. “The disruption is the latest in a series of telecoms cuts amid protests,” NetBlocks said on the social media website.
Prices continue to rise
The Iranian government recently surged the price of certain essential commodities, such as cooking oil and flour-based staples, resulting in people scrambling for basic food needs in the Tehran capital. Price hikes were announced by the Iranian authorities as part of its measures to counter the massive economic challenges. As part of the reforms, Iranian leaders also introduced changes to the country’s $100 billion subsidy program.
The ongoing chaos is adding to the mounting pressure on the Iranian government at a time when the talks to restore the 2015 nuclear deal have reached a deadlock.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also resulted in food prices surging across the region, resulting in at least 300 percent hike in everyday foods like milk, eggs and cooking oil. The price of wheat has been continuously rising on the international market, particularly after India’s decision to ban the export of the staple food.