Riots in Abadan

On Wednesday 5th of July as the temperature reached 122degrees Farenheit in Abadan, the population of this working class town built around one of Iranís major oil refineries demonstrated outside the governorís office demanding access to drinking water. Carrying water containers the population, angry at the complacency of the authorities to lack of drinking water in this town, for over 12 months, started throwing stones at the governorís office.

Riot police and military forces were deployed . They sprayed the demonstrators with tear gas and aerial shots were fired the air to disperse the crowd. However this tactic of the authorities back fired and a larger crowd gathered in defence of the demonstrators. The demonstrators started setting fire to tyres and throwing stones at banks and government offices. The security forces opened fire on demonstrators, at least two people were killed.

The riots in Abadan continued on Thursday 6th of July and residents of neighbouring towns, Andimeshk, Ahvaz and Dezful who are also deprived of drinking water , joined the demonstrators in Abadan.

At a time when oil prices have reached record high, the oil workers of southern Iran and their families live in poverty, deprived of basic necessities while Mullahs and their capitalist allies squander Iranís wealth. Workers Left Unity Iran reminds all those who call for Ďsmoothí transfer of power from one faction of the regime to a more refomist faction, that the political and social problems of Iranian society are so serious, the crisis so deep that minor changes at the top , political reform alone will never resole these contradictions. Both factions of the Iranian regime were adamant to suppress the demonstrators of Abadan as they did in Shatereh near Tehran a week earlier and in Piranshahr on the 4th of July. The Reformist faction of the Islamic regime in Iran has only one aim, to lengthen the life of this reactionary regime and guarantee its survival with minor reform.

The people Abadan , like the residents of Shatereh with their brave demonstrations for drinking water have shown the way forward. Only the independent organisation of workers , the poor and the shanty town dwellers can achieve the kind of democracy that the people of Iran have demanded for over 40 years.

Co-ordinating Committee of Workers Left Unity Iran         8th July 2000