Gunfire, clashes amid Iran protests over water scarcity

Introduction — June 2, 2018

Khorramshahr clashes

Violent clashes in Khorramshahr on Saturday.

We saw similar scenes in Iran during the 2009 elections with the CIA backed “Green Revolution“, a variant of earlier colour revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia. Then again, in 2011 peaceful protests in Syria suddenly turned into violent confrontations with President’s Assad’s security forces. That ultimately resulted in the Syrian conflict, which left hundreds of thousands of Syrians dead or homeless and nearly resulted in “regime change” too.
Russia’s 2015 intervention prevented that but in both Syria and Iran there were strong indications that outside forces were behind the anti-government protests. The objective was to exploit domestic grievances and use them to as a means to oust the legitimate governments.
This is evident in the fact that most of those who ended up fighting against Assad’s forces in the conflict that followed were not even Syrian. Instead they came from Britain, France, Chechnya and the Caucuses and beyond; all of then generously funded, armed and equipped by Saudi Arabia and the gulf emirates.
So the conflict in Syria wasn’t so much a “civil war”, as the corporate media initially claimed. Rather it was an attempt at regime change by the Saudis and the West using ignorant dupes as cannon fodder. Of course their ignorance doesn’t make their crimes any less reprehensible but they were dupes nonetheless who thought they were waging Jihad.
A still from a video of a protester in Khorramshahr on Saturday carrying what looks like an assault rifle. Click to enlarge

A still from a video of a protester in Khorramshahr on Saturday carrying what looks like an assault rifle. Click to enlarge

You would think that we would have learned by now but the same process seems to be unfolding again. This time in Khorramshahr, 400 miles southwest of Tehran, where protests over water shortages erupted into violent clashes with police on Saturday.
Call me a conspiracy theorist but I can’t help feeling that agents provocateur were at work, probably paid by the Saudis or the CIA, to incite violent confrontation. After all, since when do “initially peaceful” protests over water shortages suddenly turn into armed clashes with police?
In this regard it’s worth noting that the Associated Press report below mentions that 11 people were wounded in the clashes, “mostly police”. What’s more some of the protesters were armed, as the still taken from a video of the clashes above shows.
So why did at least one protester take what looks like an assault rifle to a demonstration which, according to Associated Press, was “initially peaceful?
It’s no coincidence that the day before the protest Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer, was calling for “regime change” in Iran. Or that shortly before John Bolton was confidently predicting the overthrow of the current regime in Tehran by 2019?

Do they know something we don’t? Are Bolton and Giuliani in on covert new plans to bring “regime change” to Tehran?

Gunfire, clashes amid Iran protests over water scarcity

Jon Gambrell — Associated Press July 1, 2018

Gunfire erupted as Iranian security forces confronted protesters early Sunday amid demonstrations over water scarcity in the country’s south, violence that authorities said wounded at least 11 people, mostly police.

The protests around Khorramshahr, some 650 kilometers (400 miles) southwest of Tehran, come as residents of the predominantly Arab city near the border with Iraq complain of salty, muddy water coming out of their taps amid a years-long drought.

The unrest there only compounds the wider unease felt across Iran as it faces an economic crisis sparked by President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw America from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

Protests began in Khorramshahr, Abadan and other areas of Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan province on Friday. The demonstrations initially were peaceful, with protesters chanting in both Arabic and Farsi.

But late Saturday and into early Sunday morning, protesters began throwing stones and confronting security forces in Khorramshahr, according to widely shared online videos. State television aired images of rocks and broken glass covering sidewalks, as well as smashed ATMs. Women and children fled as gunfire echoed.

Heavy machine gun fire could be heard in one video showing demonstrators dragging away a man who couldn’t walk. Another video appeared to show a man carrying a Kalashnikov assault rifle on the back of a motorcycle near protesters.

State TV reported Sunday afternoon that “peace had returned” to Khorramshahr and an unspecified number of protesters had been arrested. It said some demonstrators carried firearms during the unrest.

It’s unclear what sparked the violence. Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli told journalists Sunday there had been no deaths. A deputy to Fazli later said the violence wounded one civilian and 10 police officers, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.

“Such protests are directed by the propaganda of opportunists from places and people that are recognized by us as foes,” Fazli said. “You observe how they are fueling such incidents in the foreign media and in the cyberspace these days.”

Khorramshahr and the wider Khuzestan province have seen pipeline bombings by Arab separatists in the past. Tens of thousands of civilians and soldiers were killed in the province during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war.

Exacerbating that unrest is the drought. The Iran Meteorological Organization estimates 97 percent of the country faced some form of drought. Analysts also blame government mismanagement for diverting water away from some farmers in favor of others.

“Although Iran has a history of drought, over the last decade, Iran has experienced its most prolonged, extensive and severe drought in over 30 years,” said a recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization, a United Nations agency.

Some 230 people were poisoned in Khuzestan province after a 20-hour water outage in Ramhormoz county led to drinking water not being chlorinated, the semi-official Fars news agency reported Sunday. The protests did not appear to be linked to the poisoning.

Continues …

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