Revolutionaries have taken to the streets after a sharp spike in fuel prices ignited days of anti-government protests across Iran.
In the capital Tehran and other towns and cites including Isfahan, Shiraz and Tabriz, protesters blocked roads, burned tires, attacked police kiosks, torched banks, buses and petrols stations, and confronted riot police.
The Anarchist Union of Afghanistan & Iran released a statement in solidarity with the protests:
“After the capitalist Islamic regime’s deepening socio-economic-political crisis in Iran and as a result of the sudden tripling of gasoline prices, a new wave of protests has begun all over the country from north to south and east to west. And it must to continue until the complete overthrow of this inhumane system. The Anarchist Union of Afghanistan & Iran declares its support and solidarity with such revolutionary struggles.
Long live the Revolution
Long live International Solidarity
The Anarchist Union of Afghanistan & Iran
November 16 2019”
At least 40 people have been arrested following the first uprising against the regime since protests in rural provinces against economic hardship more than a year ago. At least one person was killed in protests in Sirjan, a small city in southern Iran.
Authorities shut off or severely throttled internet access across the country in an attempt to prevent coordination of the protests and distribution of videos.
The latest wave of protests broke after the government of president Hassan Rouhani, struggling to balance the budget despite harsh US sanctions that have choked off oil revenues that are the mainstay of the economy, announced late on Thursday there would be a sharp rise in the price of petroleum, which is heavily subsidised by the Iranian state.
Under the plan, each driver is to be allowed to purchase 60 litres of fuel at 15,000 rials (35p), an increase of 50 per cent, and then pay 30,000 rials (70p) for every additional litre.
While many Iranians are struggling financially, the Iranian regime is bowing to pressure from the World Bank and other global capitalist institutions to raise fuel prices.
Though the far right-wing Trump administration had a role in sparking the protests through the use of sanctions, revolutionaries in the streets of Iran are attacking capitalist and state institutions, rather than siding with US imperialism.
With a global wave of uprisings gaining traction, including in nearby Iraq and Lebanon, revolutionaries in Iran are seizing the opportunity to fight against the forces of the state and capitalism that are seeking to deny them dignity and freedom.