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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

Large protests return to the Iranian city of Kazeroon

Demonstrations were the most organised and anti-regime protests seen by some since December

Rice prices have gone up in Iran, where the product is being consumed daily. Sateyar Emami
Rice prices have gone up in Iran, where the product is being consumed daily. Sateyar Emami

Mass protests returned to Iran on Friday in the southwest city of Kazeroon, with social media videos showing hundreds demonstrating during the weekly prayers and on the streets.

Videos that emerged early on Friday showed some of largest public gatherings since the protests started last December.

Iranian users on Twitter used hashtags with the various spellings of #Kazeroun, #Karzeroon and in Persian #كازرون to document the events.

“Massive protest during Friday prayer in Kazeroun” one tweet showing a protest inside the city mosque said.

Another highlighted presence of Iranian women in the mosque chanting anti-regime slogans alongside men.

Some of the chants, four months after the protests started, took a more extreme tone.

“Fear the day we become armed” this tweet read:

Another quoted chants that decry the regime’s anti-US government focus.

"Our enemy is right here and falsely they've told us America is our enemy", one reportedly said:

The demonstrations were also seen outside the mosque:

Alireza Nader, an Iran analyst based in Washington who closely monitors the protests, told The National that Friday’s “are the most organised and anti-regime protests I’ve seen since December.”

“The fact they’re taking place at the Friday prayer is major, given that those prayers are the central symbol and focal point of the regime in any given municipality” he added.

The protests, triggered in December by tough economic conditions in Iran, are now happening in parallel with business strikes and protests in the country's northwest.

Voice of America reported on Friday about protests and strikes happening in seven towns since Sunday. “Those towns include Baneh, Javanrud, Mahabad, Marivan, Piranshahr, Saqqez and Sardasht”, VoA said.

There were also reports this week of outrage against mistreatment of an Iranian woman over the hijab issue.

“Here is the video of the morality police mistreating a woman over her hijab. It's outrageous and it's not happening for the first time” Golnaz Esfandiari tweeted.

The protests come at a time of worsening economic conditions in Iran. The Iranian riyal continues it’s slippery slide. The cost of living conditions and food has gone up contributing to more resentment against the regime.