NewsSpecial WireGovernor tries to quell unrest after blackout in Iran...

Governor tries to quell unrest after blackout in Iran city

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Feb. 15 – The governor of Mahabad (northwest Iranian Kurdistan province) tried to restrain public anger, admitting to serious interruptions in gas, power, and water services, amidst clashes between people and State Security Forces. Seyed Marouf Samadi, speaking to a state-run news agency, ILNA, said “Under normal circumstances gas … Iran Focus

Tehran, Feb. 15 – The governor of Mahabad (northwest Iranian Kurdistan province) tried to restrain public anger, admitting to serious interruptions in gas, power, and water services, amidst clashes between people and State Security Forces.

Seyed Marouf Samadi, speaking to a state-run news agency, ILNA, said “Under normal circumstances gas pressure in Mahabad is between 150 to 200 pounds, but unfortunately it is now measuring at between 0 to 20 pounds”.

Samadi claimed that 200 people had gathered outside his office in protest to the interruptions. According to local residents however, thousands of people stormed the streets of Mahabad on Sunday, clashing with agents of the SSF.

Temperatures in Mahabad have reportedly dropped to as low 15 degrees below freezing over the past few days.

Protestors gathered outside the governor’s office, complaining that there was extreme shortage of bread during the period, as residents were faced with extreme freezing conditions.

They said that bakeries could not provide them with bread during the energy blackout. Residents complained that the price of bread on the black-market had increased to 2,000 rials.

Household gas was cut off in the town for more than four days in the past week, electricity was out for more than 24 hours, and water was repeatedly cut off for several hours at a time, they said.

The demonstration quickly turned into a mass rally and youths set fire to banners and poster celebrating the 26th anniversary of the revolution that toppled the monarchy and brought to power Iran’s clerics, eye-witnesses reported.

Hundreds of SSF agents, plainclothes police, and members of the Bassij (Iran’s paramilitary police) attacked the demonstrators with clubs and batons, arresting at least 10 individuals, as residents shouted antigovernment slogans.

Eye-witnesses reported that a number of plainclothes policemen were injured during the ensuing clashes.

Samadi said “All schools have been shut down, and we are planning to replace gas heaters with oil heaters”.

No date has been set for when the change will occur.

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