Anti-government protests over various issues erupted in several Iranian cities on Wednesday, April 11. Notably, farmers of Isfahan province staged demonstrations in the city of Isfahan and in neighboring towns and villages for the fourth consecutive day, demanding that the government address the lack of sufficient water for agriculture amid the ongoing drought and consequent difficulty to grow crops in the region. Moreover, protesters denounced declining living and economic conditions in the country, as well as corruption and the inadequate provision of services. The demonstrators reportedly burned tires and obstructed roads in the city of Isfahan.
Separate demonstrations were held in Ahwaz, Kerman, Qazvin, Bandar Abbas, Karaj, Urmia, Roudbar, and in the province of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad on Wednesday; laborers, taxi drivers, teachers, and others protesting low or unpaid wages participated in the protests. Additional protests, heightened security measures, and associated transportation disruptions (ie. due to roadblocks) are possible in the abovementioned areas, including in Isfahan province, in the coming days and weeks.
On March 9, Iranian security forces fired gunshots and tear gas at protesting farmers in Varzaneh (Isfahan province), wounding at least seven farmers. According to local media sources, the farmers were protesting the perceived lack of action taken by the Iranian government to address the plight of agricultural workers amid the ongoing drought in the region, demanding that the government provide sufficient water supplies for agricultural use. Farmers and others have staged related protests in Isfahan province since February 28.
The ongoing drought has affected Isfahan province for the past decade, forcing many farmers to abandon agriculture altogether and migrate to cities to earn a living.
Protests had also recently erupted in Ahwaz (Khuzestan province) over perceived government discrimination toward Arab residents and Arab-majority areas. Security forces violently cracked down on the protests, and have arrested some 400 people due to their alleged participation in the demonstrations.
Individuals in Iran, particularly in Isfahan province, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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