New power outage sparks protests in Iran

Protests have been held in Iran's capital Tehran following several power outages.
Protests have been held in Iran's capital Tehran following several power outages.

Demonstrators have gathered in the Iranian capital Tehran in response to renewed power outages, local media report.

Power cuts in recent weeks have temporarily paralysed many business centres across the country, and on Monday it happened at the Alaeddin Passage, where electronic devices are mainly sold.

According to the Isna news agency, the situation has calmed meanwhile.

The Fars news agency published a video of the demonstration on Twitter that shows protesters chanting slogans critical of the government.

"Neither Gaza, nor Lebanon, we sacrifice our lives only for Iran," the demonstrators shouted.

With this slogan, which was also repeatedly chanted in other demonstrations, Iranians criticise the government's financial support to Arab movements and argue that the national income should be spent on the needs of its own people and not on Arab militia groups.

Iran has faced rolling blackouts for weeks now, in part over what authorities describe as a severe drought.

Precipitation had decreased by almost 50 per cent in the last year, leaving dams with dwindling water supplies.

Due to water shortages and power outages in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, there have been repeated protests against the government for days, including clashes with police.

According to official reports, there have been deaths among both demonstrators and police.

The Iranian government fears that the protests could spread to other provinces in the country and has sent a group of delegates to Khuzestan.

with AP

Australian Associated Press