Pro-Labor Student Protest Ends in Violence
Tehran: December 4, 2018
A student demonstration on December 3 at Tehran’s Amir Kabir University in support of the striking steelworkers in Khuzestan ended in violence when vigilantes from the Basij Organization, the paramilitary arm of the Revolutionary Guards, staged a counter-demonstration and attacked the protesters. “Free the imprisoned workers,” “Free the imprisoned student,” “Down with this deceitful government” were among the slogans the students chanted. A number of them were thought to be injured after clashes with the Basijis.
Quoting a Basiji student, the Student News Network, which is owned by the Basij Organization, said: “These are the same ones who supported Rouhani in the elections of 2013 and 2017 and now that the liberal policies of the government have failed and people are in economic difficulties, they have come out as protesters against the current situation to prolong their political life. But they have shown in practice that they do not care anything about people’s economic and financial worries” [Persian link].
Isfahan Representatives Resign in Protest
Tehran: December 5, 2018
All 18 members of parliament representing Isfahan have resigned in protest against the cancellation of water projects for their province. Akbar Torki, the representative for Fereydoon Shahr in Isfahan, reported that the 18 had submitted their resignation to the directorate of the parliament on Wednesday, December 5 [Persian link].
Among Iranian provinces, Isfahan has been one of the hardest hit by the drought that has devastated agriculture. Despite farmers in the province repeatedly demanding action from the government to mitigate the shortage of water, such projects for Isfahan have been removed from the forthcoming budget. In addition, a portion of Isfahan’s water has been diverted to Yazd, another province suffering from drought, leading to clashes between the residents of the two provinces.
20 Million Iranians Deprived of Sex
Tehran: December 4, 2018
Twenty million Iranians have “problems” in satisfying their sexual needs, said Mohammad Reza Boruni, head of a working group that studies family issues [Persian link]. “At the present, there are four million divorcées and widowed woman in Iran,” he said in a meeting addressing “the Sexual Crisis in Iran."
“Around 5.5 million men aged 20 to 35 and 6.5 million girls and women aged 15 to 30 are single. Based on research from 2015, one-third of boys and 27 percent of girls at high-school level have experienced sexual relations.”
The meeting, which was part of a series on the crisis, was hosted by the cleric Mohammad Reza Zibaeinejad, head of the Center for Women Studies at Qom Seminary. “The country is witnessing many changes in the area of sex,” he said. “It cannot be denied that society needs sexual education but we must keep in mind that such an education needs the right time and the right place.” He blamed the influence of Western culture and the “liberal discourse” as two of the main reasons for the sexual problems Iranians were currently experiencing.