The ancient city of Uromieh in western Iran is in the vanguard of this new round of anti-government protests. The nearby Unesco-listed Uromieh Lake, the second largest salt lake in the world, is in danger of drying up completely, and tens of thousands of locals have taken to the streets, blaming the regime’s policies for the environmental disaster. The protests became more widespread and violent last week when the Majles (parliament) refused to pass an emergency bill to save the lake. The protestors then used the occasion of a football match between Tehran and Tabriz to storm the stadium, shouting anti-government slogans and clashing with security forces. Similar protests and confrontations with the police have been reported from the nearby cities of Khoi, Miandoab and Maraghe. Hundreds of people have been arrested so far.
In Kurdish regions too, protesters have clashed with security forces during street demonstrations against the continuing bombardment of Kurdish villages by Iranian and Turkish forces.