Iranian Protesters Allegedly Take Up Arms After Regime Shoots Peaceful Protester

Suppression in Khorramshahr said to spark protests in several cities
By Joshua Philipp, The Epoch Times
July 1, 2018 5:40 pm Last Updated: July 2, 2018 1:12 pm

Forces of the Iranian regime shot and killed a protester in Khorramshahr who was allegedly peacefully demonstrating against water shortages, state oppression, and pollution.

After the protester was killed, the protests turned to riots in a country where tensions and open demonstrations against the regime have been steadily building. Videos released between June 30 and July 1 show fires in the streets, regime forces firing at civilians, and growing unrest.

Videos of the situation show chaos in the streets of Khorramshahr, a city near the Iraq border in southwestern Iran. Babak Taghvaee, an author and journalist, wrote on Twitter that on the second day of protests in the city, “The regime’s security forces … started brutal suppression of the protesters using machine guns.”

In another tweet, Taghvaee claims that the protesters have begun fighting back with weapons captured from Iranian security forces. “Brave protesters in #Khorramshahr just started defending themselves by shooting at the terrorist #Basij militia & #IRGC Special Unit of #Iran’s Islamic Regime Police. They have armed themselves by AK-103 assault rifles captured from security forces.”

In an attached video, a series of gunshots can be heard, and protesters carry off a man who appears to be wounded.

Masih Alinejad, an Iranian activist and journalist for Voice of America, noted on Twitter that people in Khorramshahr stood up to defend their city against Iraq, during the Iran–Iraq War. She stated, “Today, they were defending themselves against the Islamic Republic. Their own government opened fire on them. Their own government doesn’t care about their problems.”

Another video shows a large crowd walking, in an alleged protest in the southwestern city of Ahvaz. Taghvaee stated on Twitter that “Iranians in several cities of #Iran have come to streets to protest against #Iran’s Islamic Regime due to brutal suppression of #Khorramshahr’s people in #Khuzestan, #Lorestan & #Isfahan provinces.”

If the claims are true, then the incidents in Khorramshahr may have been a powder keg that set off an uprising that has long been brewing.

The incident follows a series of similar protests that have been growing in size and frequency, and similar killings of protesters by the Iranian regime.

Alireza Nader, a former RAND analyst, published a video of a protest on June 25 in front of Iran’s parliament building, noting that the narrator of the video claims there were at least 20,000 protesters.

In another tweet, Nader said that since December 2017, there have been similar protests in more than 110 cities in Iran.

The Iranian regime seized power in 1979 through a student revolution with communist undertones, with influences from Soviet subversion and from socialist “Islamism” tied to the ideas of Sayyid Qutb, a founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The 1979 Iranian Revolution overthrew Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, who died in 1980 while in exile in Egypt, ending the Persian monarchy, which had lasted for 2,500 years.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the year of the Iranian Revolution. It was 1979. The Epoch Times regrets the error.