Riot police conducted patrols Sunday at the two historic bridges in the Iranian city of Isfahan, where calm has returned after violent protests against the drying up of an iconic river.
“Dans la matinee, la ville était calme et la circulation normale. J’ai vu des policiers anti-émeute patrouillant dans le lit de la rivière between the ponts historiques, mais leur name était inférieur à samedi”, I will declare a photographe local joint by phone.
For more than two weeks, tens of thousands of people, police say, have gathered in the country’s third-largest city to complain about the terrible drought and blame authorities for diverting water from this region to supply the neighboring province. from Yazd, who is also painfully short of water.
On Friday, for the first time, the demonstration was marked by clashes between law enforcement and protesters.
The following day, authorities announced 67 arrests among the “main perpetrators and rioters”, reporting “between 2,000 and 3,000 rioters.”
Police fired tear gas canisters at protesters who responded with stone-throwing, according to the Fars news agency.
Isfahan University Hospital spokesman said protesters were injured, “two in serious condition.”
Isfahan Police Chief Mohammad-Réza Mirheidari called “opportunists and counterrevolutionaries” those who participated in the riots.
The ultra-conservative daily Kayhan on Sunday made the link between the resumption of nuclear energy talks in Vienna on Monday between Iran and the great powers, and the protesters in Isfahan, portrayed as a game by the American enemy.
“Friday’s events around the (dry river) Zayandeh-Roud witness the infiltration of a fifth US column, in the run-up to the Vienna talks, to provoke a riot and press for (new) US sanctions” against Iran, write the newspaper.
One of Isfahan’s bridges over the Zayandeh-Roud river, which dried up in April 2018, in Iran (AFP / Archives – ATTA KENARE)
The Zayandeh-Roud river that crosses Isfahan has been dry since 2000, except for a few short periods. It has become the main gathering place for protesters.
Iran, an arid country, has experienced a chronic drought for years.
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