Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Aug. 08 Several Kurdish towns in northwest Iran have come to a standstill after people launched a mass strike against the crackdown by authorities on anti-government protests that had erupted in the provinces of Kurdistan and Western Azerbaijan over the past month. Iran Focus
Tehran, Iran, Aug. 08 Several Kurdish towns in northwest Iran have come to a standstill after people launched a mass strike against the crackdown by authorities on anti-government protests that had erupted in the provinces of Kurdistan and Western Azerbaijan over the past month.
People in the restive town of Mahabad, where much of the unrest began, heeded the call en masse for a general strike. Locals reported that usually busy areas such as Taleghani-Sharghi Street, Taleghani-Gharbi Street, Jame-Jam Street, Kargar Street, Mowlavi-Sharghi Street, and Mowlavi-Gharbi Street, as well as Esteghlal Square, Shayegan Park, and Tanakoura Bazaar were all virtually deserted.
State Security Forces and Revolutionary Guard units have been placed at key locations throughout Mahabad, which is currently under a de facto martial law. Eyewitnesses reported that the security forces approached gatherings of more than two people and detained people not carrying identity cards.
The Friday prayers leader in Mahabad has unsuccessfully appealed to the people to end their strike.
The town of Sardasht, close to Mahabad, has also been the scene of deadly clashes between angry people and agents of the SSF.
Eyewitnesses described the central bazaar as completely empty. There was however tight security throughout the town with eyewitnesses reporting that military helicopters have on three occasions circled above the town in an attempt to prevent sporadic attacks on government offices by angry people.
Kurds in the town of Rabat, which is only 15 kilometres from Sardasht, have also joined the mass strike, locals said.
Piranshahr, a hotbed of anti-government violence, has been on general strike for several days. There has been a large military presence in the town and three military helicopters have been continuously circling above the town, residents reported.
They also reported that Beheshti Street, Jomhouri-Sharghi Street, Jomhouri-Gharbi Street, Azadi-Sharghi Street, Azadi-Gharbi Street, Esteghlal-Sharghi Street, Esteghlal-Gharbi Street were virtually empty.