Reports trickling in from Iran indicate unrest in southwestern oil-rich province of Khuzestan on Friday after bread prices rose significantly in recent days.
First came the news Friday morning that internet connection was shut off or significantly slowed down in Khuzestan, a development usually signaling protests in Iran. Authorities disrupt the Internet to prevent news of unrest reaching the rest of the country and abroad. It is also done to prevent protesters from galvanizing support in nearby regions.
Later came reports of a curfew in the city of Susangerd and gunshots heard in the Abuzar neighborhood. Some reports that Iran International cannot independently confirm speak of security forces forcefully entering homes and warning citizens not to join protests.
A source told Iran International that “Security forces went up to the roofs of buildings and homes and fired tear gas into the courtyards of some houses,” adding that they were trying to intimidate Susangerd residents to prevent them from joining the protests.
Apart from this general picture, there are no details about how large the protests were, possible clashes, injuries, or if the unrest continues.
Khuzestan was a hotbed of protests in May and June 2021 when for consecutive days people in many cities came into streets to demand water, amid government mismanagement of water resources and drought. At least ten people were shot by security forces in the unrest.
With the sudden quadrupling of bread prices, many Iranians expect widespread protests, since a persistent 40-percent inflation has depleted people’s finances and bread is the last food item poorer families can afford.