Iran oil workers go on strike
Workers at an Iranian oil company went on strike Monday as ongoing anti-government demonstrations creep into important sectors of the country’s economy.
The Wall Street Journal reported that dozens of employees at a plant in the Iranian province of Bushehr blocked roadways as part of an anti-government protest.
According to various social media posts, the protesting workers shouted, “Do not fear. We stand together” and “Death to the dictator.”
Iranian media outlet Tasnim described Monday’s incident as a salary dispute between the plant and its 700 employees. It is unclear how production has been impacted at the complex since the strike began.
Iranian government officials haven’t commented on the demonstration, the Journal reported.
This was the first time anti-government protests around the country have spread into the critical oil sector; however, retail outlets and small businesses have shut down their operations in support of the ongoing protests.
Tensions between Iranian citizens and authorities have escalated amid protests initially sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, which have expanded into calls for an end to state violence and discrimination toward women, as well as calls for regime change.
Nonprofit organization Iran Human Rights said 185 people had been killed during protests as of Oct. 6, including at least 19 children, with the highest number occurring in the Sistan and Baluchistan province in Iran’s southeast.
Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian national, died in police custody last month after being arrested by authorities for improperly wearing her hijab, which violated Iran’s strict rules on female dress codes.
According to a United Nation Human Rights Office report, Amini collapsed and died after spending three days in the custody of Iran’s morality police. The U.N. also noted that Amini was “severely beaten” during her detainment.
Iranian officials have denied the allegations of torture and ill-treatment in Amini’s death, saying that the Iranian national died of a heart attack while in police custody.
U.S. officials, along with others, have condemned Iran for its treatment of women and the tactics it used to disperse demonstrators and imposed sanctions on the country during the protests.