Six foreign-based Iranian opposition groups announced support for protests in several cities across Iran, warning Iran’s authorities against repression, violence, and internet cuts.
In a statement Saturday, the groups demanded the unconditional release of detainees from recent protests as well as all jailed ‘political’ and trade union activists.The signatories include United Republicans of Iran, formed by exiled leftists in 2004, the People's Fadaian, a formerly Communist group now proclaiming itself social democratic, the Social Democratic and Secular Republican Party of Iran, and the National Front, which claims descent from the 1950s nationalist leader Mohammad Mossadegh.
The groups expressed opposition to the government’s recent removal of a subsidized dollar rate for importing essential goods (including wheat, cooking oil and animal feed). The move which has led to jumps in food prices, reflect a tighter approach by the administration of President Ebrahim Raisi to Iran’s fiscal challenge following United States post-2018 ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions.
During the past few days, several cities in Iran have seen protests triggered by the sudden hike in food prices thatquickly turned into rallies with people chanting slogans against government leaders. The six opposition groups called the government’s decisions "irresponsible" in that they had led to “intensified pressure on society, especially on low-income, vulnerable wage earners."