On the eve of the anniversary of the November 2019 Iran protests, and to commemorate the people and youth’s courage and bravery in that glorious uprising, we will review some news and developments of the 2019 uprising. This article is about the Mahshahr massacre.
Mahshahr is one of the essential ports for exporting crude oil and products of the Abadan refinery in southwest Iran. Oil pipes reach the Abadan refinery from Khuzestan oil-rich province, and from there to Mahshahr port, there are substantial oil reserves in this city. Socially, ethnic minorities such as the Lors, Arabs, and Turks also live in the city. During the Iran-Iraq war, many war refugees from other cities immigrated to Mahshar and remained there.
Mahshahr: Iran’s petrochemicals center
Mahshahr, with more than 20 petrochemical complexes, is one of Iran’s largest petrochemical cities and perhaps in the Middle East. During the 40 years of the clerical regime, Mahshahr has witnessed scenes of protest and revolt against poverty, hunger, and unemployment. In this port, people, on the one hand, see the passage of oil pipelines and petrochemical complexes that export the national wealth of the country. And it turns into dollars for the cost of terrorism and warmongering by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). People have witnessed how the IRGC uses the national wealth for oppression. During the uprising people witnessed how the youth of this port are being shot and massacred in Neyzar(marshland) near this port.
Gasoline prices rise, and protests begin
Protests erupted across Iran in November 2019 following the sudden gas price-hike. Mahshahr joined other cities in the nationwide protests. People of Mahshar bravely clashed with the security forces. Many of the true scenes of people’s bravery and the regime’s brutality have not yet been reported. But so far, the three-day bloody conflict in Mahshahr has been described as follows.
With the start of the protests, the people of Mahshahr initially did not set fire to any banks or centers. In protest, people only installed several roadblocks in front of the Petrochemical Special Economic Zone access road and closed the access road to Khomeini Port. But these simple actions led to the governor’s order and with the permission of the National Security Council headed by Ali Shamkhani, Khuzestan branch of the IRGC sent a special commando brigade to Mahshahr with two tanks and six personnel carriers and a total of heavy and semi-heavy weapons and even a military helicopter.
As soon as they entered Mahshahr, they first entered Chamran town (Jarrahi) and shot the people with DShK 1938 heavy machine guns. Also, they shot at ordinary people from a helicopter in the city of Chamran (Jarrahi). IRGC forces opened fire on people who were at home, and had not participated in protests.
People and youth flee to the reeds
There is huge marshland located at the entrance of Mahshar. The protesting youths hid in marshes, seeking shelter from IRGC bullets. But according to a journalist, the IRGC opened such a fire on people in the marsh, as if marshes were cut with a sickle.
This journalist quoted a local source in a recent report as saying that security forces had come to attack. They opened fire on people using DShK 1938. In the first hour, about 17 people, including two children aged 4 and 8 and an old woman in her seventies, were shot dead by the IRGC. Several of those killed were among the wounded who were taken to the city hospital. But the hospital refused to accept them at the behest of the IRGC, and they were killed. In the evening of the same day, they entered the towns of Rajai and the village of Gamma and Madani’s town and killed many protesters them, there as well.
The tragedy of the Mahshahr massacre
The IRGC then entered the town of Taleghani with a tank, and the people resisted. Sounds of gunfire and explosions did not stop for a second from 6:00 AM on Tuesday until 1:00 AM on Wednesday(27, 28 November 2019).
There is no accurate report of the number of dead in the marshland. But the New York Times reported that at least 130 people had been killed during the three days of repression in Mahshahr. Mahshahr was one of the cities where protests were suppressed in the most violent way possible. The news was delayed. Reports indicate that mullahs’ have imposed an atmosphere of repression and the city is under control of the regime’s security forces.
Pictures released from Mahshahr in recent days show the presence of tanks and machine guns in the streets. Eyewitnesses reported that security forces opened fire on protesters who took refuge in marshes along the road during 2019 uprising.
Dictator response to the people
In response to the Iran protests, the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei supported the killing of defenseless people. Khamenei said: “Yes; Police, Basij, and IRGC entered the field. And in the face of hardship, they did their job. The main enemy, the global arrogance behind the monitors, understands what this move means. They punch them in the mouth and force them to retreat.
Khamenei had previously called the suffering and protesting people of Iran “villains” by ordering the suppression of the protesters. He said: “In such incidents, villains, vindictive people, and bad people usually enter the field.” “Sometimes, some young people also commit such corruption. These things are not the work of ordinary people. “These are evildoers.”
The world is still not aware of the human tragedy that happened in Mahshahr. Also, the regime shut down the Internet to prevent news from leaking. Many people think that the people of Mahshahr set fire to a bank, but not a single bank in Mahshahr was damaged.
Until three days after the incident, the youths were arrested in towns across Mahshar. The city still mourns for its slaughtered citizens. But they are looking for the day of revenge to bring the criminals to justice. They want to build a free, democratic country based on respect for the human rights of all citizens, instead of bloodshed and murder and inequality.