IRAN: Angry Protests Break out in Kermanshah After Officials Threaten to Cut Electricity to Those Living in Temporary Accommodation After 2017 Earthquake

By INU Staff

INU - In November 2017, more than 600 people were killed and thousands injured in a powerful earthquake that hit Iran and Iraq. The 7.3 magnitude earthquake caused major devastation in the affected areas in Iran, and the Iranian government was criticised for leaving the people to fend for themselves in the aftermath.

More than a year and a half later, the people in the affected areas in Iran are still dealing with the consequences of the disaster.

The town of Sar Pol-e Zahab in the western province of Kermanshah was one of the worst hit by the earthquake. Entire buildings fell to the ground and thousands of people were left homeless. The city’s only hospital was partially damaged by the earthquake and many of those being treated there were seen to in open yards outside.

On Sunday, town officials in Sar Pol-e Zahab had planned to cut the electricity supplies to the locals that have been living in tents and trailers since the destruction of their houses in 2017.

The locals were quite rightly incensed that officials would take such action, and as a result took to the streets in numbers to voice their anger. The authorities were taken by surprise and the protest continued into the evening.

Locals set tyres on fire to block roads and were then seen throwing rocks at the fire trucks that were sent to put out the fires. They did everything in their power to prevent officials from approaching the makeshift housing.

As with many of the recent protests that have rocked Iran, women were present and played a significant role.

The weather has been particularly hot this summer and the public anger is rising to temperatures that the regime cannot cope with.

The local people have been living in very dire conditions since the earthquake and reports indicate that some have even been selling their kidneys just to be able to put food on the table. They have been denied aid.

Last September, in a stark reminder to the locals, a number of aftershocks hit the region.

Families are still living in temporary accommodation such as tents, with many families surviving in spaces that are too small to comfortably accommodate them. To make the situation even worse, the sanitary conditions are worrying and hygiene levels are very poor.

The very young, the elderly and the sick are particularly vulnerable. They have had to survive long, cold and harsh winters and they are now suffering through a hot summer.

Regime officials have previously promised to provide those in desperate need of help with loans and aid, but not surprisingly, nothing has materialised. Villages were promised hundreds of millions of rials to rebuild.

The Iranian regime is once again giving the people reason to make their calls for regime change even louder and even more determined. The regime’s lack of responsibility and its mismanagement is clear for all to see and the regime’s collapse is long overdue.