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Iran: Eighth day of nationwide protests amidst continued internet blackout

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, November 22, 2019—Cities, towns and villages checkered throughout Iran are experiencing escalating demonstrations, protests and an all-out nationwide uprising, expanding into its eighth consecutive day on Friday, November 22. Tehran and many other cities are witnessing ongoing unrests and protests as the Iranian people have risen in at least 165 cities across the country with at least 251 killed and over 3,700 people injured by the regime’s oppressive security forces. Reports also indicate more 7,000 protesters have been arrested. Reports indicate the actual statistics could unfortunately be far higher. By 8:30 am CET, the internet in Iran has been shut down for 134 hours, according to netblocks.og.

Protesters are specifically raising political demands by directly targeting senior regime officials and the entire mullahs’ apparatus. In their slogans, protesters are demanding the toppling of the Iranian regime and placing their crosshairs on the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani and the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as the root of the Iranian people’s ongoing miseries.

 

UPDATE (6:50 PM CET):

In Tehran, authorities dispatched a high number of anti-riot units to the second square of Sadeghiyeh district on Friday.

 

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced sanctions on Iranian regime Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Jahromi in response to the mullahs’ ongoing crackdown against the Iranian and the internet shutdown imposed on the country for than five days now.

“The U.S. is sanctioning the Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Mohammad Jahromi, for helping shut down the Iranian internet. We will hold members of the Iranian regime accountable for their violent repression of the Iranian people. #Internet4Iran,” Secretary Pompeo said.

 

 

On Friday, November 22, youths in Isfahan clashed with the regime’s oppressive security forces near the University Square.

A report received on Friday by the MEK network from Isfahan indicates 800 to 900 people have been arrested in this city alone. Authorities have arrested many in the cities of Zeynabiyeh, Khomeinishahr and Jough Abad. The atmosphere was very tense in Isfahan, Zeynabiyeh, Shahinshahr and Robat, especially the areas of Isfahan where the Lor ethnic community reside in. Many gas stations are on fire. All the banks and ATM machines are damaged. Authorities have killed many people and refuse to hand over the corpses to their families. Authorities are demanding money for the corpses. In some cities they are literally demanding 200 million rials (around $1,665) for each corpse.

Protesters torched a gas station in November 2019

Protesters torched a gas station in November 2019

 

In Ghahderijan and Homayunshahr (Khomeyni Shahr) of Isfahan Province (central Iran), protesters clashed with the regime’s security forces on Thursday, November 21, by setting fire to tires and blocking roads.

On Friday, supporters of the Iranian Resistance the opposition PMOI/MEK held a rally in solidarity with the nationwide uprising in Iran.

 

 

 

UPDATE (2:30 PM CET):

Reporters Without Borders criticized the ongoing internet clampdown in Iran by the mullahs’ regime, saying Tehran intends to silence the demonstrations by denying access to the global network. The decision to shut down the internet was made by the regime’s Supreme National Security Council chaired by mullahs’ President Hassan Rouhani to prevent the flow of information, especially through social media platforms.

Latest reports also indicate protesting youth in Shahinshahr, Zarrinshahr and Najafabad, of Isfahan Province were seen blocking roads and clashing with the regime’s security forces.

In another indication of the mullahs’ growing concerns over access to the internet in Iran, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) deputy chief and others linked the expansion of ongoing protests to this dilemma. “Access to the internet resulted in the larger presence of protesters on the streets,” said Ali Fadavi.

“The enemies of the state are brewing security threats for the [regime]. If we are caught off-guard the enemy will establish ground right here inside the country,” said Ali Nazari, commander of IRGC forces in Mashhad, northeast Iran.

Canadian MP Candice Bergen voiced her support for the Iranian people and their ongoing nationwide uprising. “The world is watching the Iranian people rise up and fight back against a corrupt and brutal regime in pursuit of freedom. I fully support their efforts and I’m proud to stand with the people of Iran,” she said.

 

 

Reports from Shiraz indicate college students and freedom loving locals launched a demonstration on Wednesday, November 20, and clashed with the regime’s security forces. Reports also indicate at least ten civilians have been killed in this city of south-central Iran and over 500 have been arrested.

 

10:00 AM CET:

MEK network inside Iran:

November 21 - From Ahvaz, southwest Iran: “They killed 19 people in our neighborhood. They say 106 have been killed across the country. How can they have killed 19 people in one neighborhood and then say just 106 throughout the country? There will be many videos when internet connection is reestablished.”

A newly obtained report from Isfahan indicates numerous protests during the past few days.

“The regime’s security agents were opening direct fire on the people Monday night (November 18), killing and wounding a number of the protesters. The agents were also seen transferring the dead and wounded to unknown locations. In the Baharestan district, five banks were torched in two nights, leaving only one branch untouched in this area. Administrative buildings such as the water and electricity departments, and the city council building have been stormed and torched. The dormitory of Isfahan University’s Medical School remains closed down,” the report reads.

Despite the fact that regime media outlets claim the internet has been restored in Iran, the world wide web remains under a major blackout in Iran and only 10 to 15 percent of network is provided to the Iranian people. Only a number of companies and certain universities have access to the internet while the general public are left in the dark. Internet connection hinges on a decision by the regime’s Supreme National Security Council, according to the mullahs’ Communications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi.

The regime’s own media outlets are acknowledging the vast scope of public hatred targeting the mullahs. More than 1,000 bank branches have suffered damages during the latest protests. These numbers include 120 branches belong to Bank Mellat, 100 branches to the Bank Maskan (Housing), 20 branches of Bank Pasargad. Regime-linked banks have suffered major damages, with branches of Bank Maskan, Bank Mellat and Bank Melli suffering the most damages.

In the city of Khorramabad, 46 ATM machines have suffered 20 to 100 percent damages. 36 bank branches in this city have been attacked by protesters, five being torched.

The state-run Eghtesad Online outlet reported, “Protesters torched 15 banks in four hours!”

Ali Rabie, spokesman of the Iranian regime’s government also voiced concerns in this regard. “In the recent unrests a number of people attacked military and security centers. There were people guiding and leading these efforts,” he said.

A regime official in Kazerun, south-central Iran, sheds further light on the mullahs’ desperation. “This volume of damage and destruction is truly unbelievable. Three vehicles, three motorcycles, the security room, the subsidies office, the office of a local official… and a number of other rooms were torched by the protesters… They had a variety of tools, including firearms, Molotov cocktails and hand-made firecrackers… Protests began on Saturday across the city, and little by little, specific groups became involved and we can now say they were linked to the PMOI/MEK… protests escalated and 15 banks were torched in less than four hours… the protesters were fully equipped and pursued specific objectives.”

In Nasimshahr near Tehran, another report provided by the MEK network indicates many fires burning across the town on Thursday, November 21. Banks and administrative offices were torched by protesters. Authorities dispatched security offices in response and signs indicate people are no longer tolerating the mullahs’ regime.

Strikes are reported in the cities of Darab, Bandar Abbas and Estehban.

“There are no vehicles in the port… no one in pumping fuel. Everyone is on strike in Darab, Bandar Abbas and Estehban,” according to a report from the city of Bandar Abbas in southern Iran.

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