Iranian security forces imposed tight security measures in the city of Ahwaz and other Arab cities in southwestern parts of the country amid a wave of arrests in areas that witnessed anti-racism protests in recent days.
The rallies had started a week ago in protest against a children’s television program that had ignored the Arabs while it shed light on the diversity of Iranian society.
The oversight sparked anger and a wave of protests in Arab regions in Iran.
The Ahwaz residents accuse Iranian authorities of deliberately seeking to alter the identity and demographics of Arab cities. They said that the authorities have even encouraged immigration to these regions, while barring Arabs from privileges that the newcomers are granted.
The protests originally kicked off in the city of Ahwaz before spreading to other Arab cities.
The demonstrators chanted against the discriminatory practices, demanding that the United Nations and major powers intervene to end what they describe as Iranian occupation of Ahwaz.
Videos posted on social media showed security forces firing tear gas at the protesters in the city
Sources from the area revealed that gunmen attacked an Iranian Revolutionary Guards station in the central part of the city. A shootout soon ensued, but no losses of life were reported.
Informed sources said that the security forces imposed tight security measures in several cities in anticipation of more unrest ahead of April 25, which many locals consider as the anniversary of the “occupation” of Ahwaz in 1925.
Other sources revealed that more than 80 activists have been arrested in the authorities’ crackdown, while no official figures have been revealed yet.
Source » faawsat