On the evening of Thursday, July 16, 2020, reports, images and videos were published by Iranian users on social media platforms from several cities in Iran, which showed a vast security presence.
Today, Tehran, Shiraz, Mashhad, Tabriz and Behbahan witnessed a significant presence of Basij forces, IRGC and armed counterinsurgency units in the cities.
From the city of Behbahan, heavy clashes were reported between protesters and the regime’s repressive forces. There have been reports of tear gas firings at protesters.
People managed to gather in Bank Melli Square in Behbahan. Among the chanted slogans at protests were:
“Neither Gaza, nor Lebanon, I sacrifice my life for Iran!”
“Islamic Republic, we do not want! We do not want! “
“Cannon, tank, firecracker, mullahs must get lost!”
“Reza Shah, God bless your soul!”
And again, with the formation of the first whispers of widespread protests, the regime began to disrupt the Internet. Internet monitors from different cities and at different operators reported widespread disruptions:
NetBlocks, an Internet watchdog, also confirmed partial and total disruptions in Khuzestan province across various networks:
Currently, Iranian users are posting calls on social media for Friday to take part in anti-government protests. The death sentences of the three Nov 2019 protesters seem to have had the opposite effect, which the regime issued in order to intimidate: first the historic and unprecedented #اعدام_نکنید (Do not execute) protesting campaign in cyberspace, and now the nationwide street protests!
Behbahan was one of the first cities in the bloody uprising of November 2019 which spread the protests to other cities in Iran. Dozens of protesting Behbahanis were killed in clashes with Basij and IRGC forces in November 2019.
Translation of this post by Sahar.