Against the backdrop of ongoing strikes by oil, petrochemical, and livestock workers, prolonged power outages in many Iranian cities have sparked a new wave of protests. Over the past few days, the electricity in Tehran and various other cities, including Mashhad, Isfahan, Kazerun, Shiraz, Dezful, and several locations in Mazandaran Province, has been cut frequently, for long periods, and without advance notice. In some cities, including Tehran, residents went without power for eight hours. The power outages have also put patients’ lives in further danger: A video making the rounds on social media shows a doctor announcing the death of two patients in a hospital’s cardiac care unit due to the power outages. Physician Mohammadreza Hashemian said that, in the time between power outages and the connection of ventilators to the emergency power supply, patients are in danger and that some have even lost their lives this way. Social media users have also reported that a produce market in Shiraz caught fire due to repeated power outages.
Citizens of Kazerun, Dezful, the Kahrizak region of Tehran, Rey, and many other cities in Mazandaran Province have gathered outside the local power and electricity authority facilities to protest and shout slogans against Iran’s energy minister. There are unconfirmed reports that protesters in Kazerun actually set fire to the local power department. Videos circulating on social media also show that, while citizens suffered through power outages, the numerous projectors shining light on the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini were still on, as was the power at some of Qom’s seminaries.
In some cities, including Tehran, protesters angry about the power outages chanted “Death to Khamenei.”