Security forces reportedly arrested dozens of protesting steelworkers in Ahvaz (Khuzestan province) on Monday, June 11, and Tuesday, June 12. Several workers were also arrested after raiding the offices of members of parliament from Ahvaz on Monday. The steelworkers have been protesting since June 8 to demand three months of unpaid wages and that their suspended health insurance be reinstated.
Additional similar protests are expected in Ahvaz in the coming days; related protests are also possible elsewhere in Khuzestan province. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are expected near protest sites. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Iranian security forces vowed to "resolutely confront" civil unrest during an announcement made on May 27, following a wave of protests across the country concerning economic issues.
Iran has witnessed a multitude of protests over various grievances in cities across the country since December 2017. In December 2017 and January 2018, Iran experienced the largest demonstrations expressing public dissatisfaction with the economic and sociopolitical status quo since the Green Movement protests of 2009. Those protests - some of which called for Shi'a clerical leaders to step down - resulted in dozens of deaths and thousands of arrests. In recent weeks, protests and strikes have also been held over water issues, insufficient wages, political prisoners, border closures, political administration issues, poor university administration, and mismanagement of financial institutions.
Individuals in Iran are advised to monitor developments to the situation, strictly avoid all protests and demonstrations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.