Antigovernment protests and clashes in several cities in Iran

Several cities in different parts of Iran have witnessed large-scale antigovernment protests in recent days that have led to clashes between protesters and security forces.

A football match in the northern city of Langerud culminated in a huge public protest as 5,000 spectators chanting antigovernment slogans clashed with the Revolutionary Guards. The confrontation quickly spilt into city streets and thousands of residents joined the protesters. In clashes that lasted for several hours, protesters destroyed a Revolutionary Guards patrol car and four government buses, including two which belonged to the mullahs' army.

The Guards clamped down heavy-handedly, imposing a de facto state of siege on the city and arresting a large number of local residents. Their fate remains unknown. Many protesters were badly beaten in the clashes, while several Revolutionary Guards were injured.

The northern city of Astaneh was the site of a large demonstration by local farmers protesting against government inaction in the face of an unprecedented drought that has devastated rural communities across Iran. The angry crowd seized the head of the city's water authority. Many farmers were arrested and some were badly injured when Revolutionary Guards units attacked them. Three members of the security forces were beaten up by protesters.

On Tuesday, July 6, municipality workers in Sanandaj, provincial center of Iranian Kurdistan, ordered street vendors to clear out the city's Revolution Square. The peddlers resisted and clashes ensued. The street vendors booed and jeered the government agents and pelted them with stones. As a huge crowd gathered in the area, clashes spread to other parts of the district. The authorities responded by bringing in the Revolutionary Guards' special forces, who took control of all major intersections in the city, including Namaki Intersection and Sirous Street. A large number of people were arrested. Clashes began in the afternoon and went on until nightfall.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
July 9, 1999

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