LONDON: Protests continued in Iran’s Ahwaz region for a sixth consecutive night in towns and cities with majority Arab Iranian citizens.
The night-time demonstrations in the southern provinces took place in at least four areas of Ahwaz, where hundreds roamed the streets calling for an end to discrimination against Ahwazi Iranians.
The demonstrators criticised the government for its heavy-handed response and its policy to displace Arab Iranians and to dilute their ethnic identity.
Activists uploaded videos of protests that took place to the west and south-west of Ahwaz, calling for freedom and an end to discrimination against them.
The same activists reported on social media that Tehran had deployed more police anti-riot units, as well as special forces and Revolutionary Guard units, to clamp down on protesters.
Iranian police arrested more than 100 protesters in swoops on Ahwaz and Abadan, according to activists.
Demonstrations broke out in various Ahwazi cities in protest against a TV cartoon show that locals say uses figurines to misrepresent various ethnicities in Iran. Protestors have called on the government to publish an apology, but this demand has yet to be answered, according to one of the activists.
Ahwaz — an area that has 90 percent of Iran’s oil and gas reserves — has witnessed a series of demonstrations and clashes with authorities over the past few years.
The area is said to be suffering from years of neglect by the Tehran regime, whom the locals blame for high unemployment levels. They have criticized the regime's discrimination against Ahwazi Iranians and the bid to redraw the demographic map of the area.