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Statements: Iran protests

Iran: Arresting Steel Workers, a Desperate Attempt to End Strikes and Labor Protests


Iran Uprising - No. 94

Call for the immediate and unconditional release of arrested workers

The Iranian Resistance condemns the arrest of striking workers of the Ahvaz steel industrial group and calls on the general public, especially the youth and workers of Khuzestan, to express solidarity with the strikers and to support families of the detainees, and calls on all international human rights and labor rights organizations to condemn suppressive and anti-labor policies of the clerical regime and to take action for the immediate and unconditional release of the detainees.

Thursday night, March 1, suppressive forces arrested at least 10 striking workers of Ahvaz steel during a raid on the homes of a number of them. This repressive action took place on the tenth day of the strike of more than 300 Ahvaz steel workers and their daily gatherings in front of the governorate.

Following the upsurge in labor strikes, Khamenei on February 26 blamed these protests to the enemies and said: "One of the basic tasks of our enemies is that they may be able to create a recession, lag in labor complexes, especially large complexes, to force workers to do this ".

On Friday, March 2, Ahvaz steel striking workers were planning to enter Ahvaz Friday prayer show to protest the detention of their colleagues, but police officers prevented them. The workers inevitably gathered in front of the Mosalla. The motorized units of the police force went immediately to disperse the workers. The workers chanted, "Friday Imam, listen, we are workers, not mobs".

Abdolreza Mousavi, owner of Ahvaz Steel, is a large-scale government plunderer and owner of the Zagros Airlines Company, Esteghlal Sports Club of Khuzestan and Great Dariush Hotel in Kish Island. He refuses to pay workers’ wages while he recently ordered the purchase of 28 Airbus planes (IRNA-June 22, 2017).

The anti-labor ruling clerical regime thinks foolishly that with these arrests, it can break the will of the workers who have resolved to take back four decades of their lost rights from this oppressive regime, and prevent its overthrow. The corrupt and bankrupt regime of the mullahs is the first and most important factor in the economic and livelihood problems of the people, and the situation worsens as long as it is in power... Abbas Akhundi, Rouhani's Minister of Road and Urban Planning, in a shocking confession, said on February 25, "The problem is lack of justice. There is no way to cure fundamental problems ... We cannot solve social problems ... A gathering quickly becomes a chaos, a snow immediately disturbs the whole society. This shows that social resilience from a sustainable and durable concept is difficult.”

He said that 30% of the budget should be distributed and 70% dedicated for civil development, but now our budget is 100% distributed. That means the value-added power tends toward zero.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
March 2, 2018

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