Riot police deploy after violent demo in Iran’s Isfahan

The Nation  |  Nov 28, 2021

Tehran - Riot police were deployed in force Saturday in the Iranian city of Isfahan, a day after violent protests over the drying up of a lifeblood river.

Security forces fired tear gas during the clashes with stone-throwers in the protest by around 500 people in the bed of the Zayadneh Rood river that crosses the central city, Fars and ISNA news agencies said. “A limited number of arrests” were made by the security forces, according to the province’s police chief.

“The situation is calm in the Zayandeh Roud riverbed and streets are empty, but I heard riot police were deployed on the Khadjou bridge,” a resident who works in the area said Saturday.

The demonstration on Friday was the latest since protests kicked off on November 9 in Isfahan, a tourist magnet due to its majestic mosques and heritage sites, including a historic bridge that crosses the dried-up river. But it was the first to turn violent. The riverbed has been the gathering spot for farmers and other people from across Isfahan province protesting the lack of water since November 9. Drought is a cause, but they also accuse the authorities of diverting water from the city to supply the neighbouring province of Yazd, which is also desperately short on supplies.

Ex-Liverpool, Atletico Madrid winger Maxi Rodriguez announces retirement                   “I used to walk along the riverbed with friends but today the riot police are deployed in large numbers near the Khajou bridge and they are asking people to avoid the area,” said a woman in her 50s who was contacted by phone.

 

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