Mittwoch, 07.07.2021 / 17:55 Uhr

Kein Strom: "Death to Khamenei"

Thomas von der Osten-Sacken



Während in Iran die Ölarbeiter weiter streiken kommen neue Proteste hinzu:

Several Iranian cities, including the capital Tehran, have in the past few days been rattled with death shouts against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as unscheduled power cuts continue to disrupt normal life.

Many Iranians have also staged protests outside local offices, calling for the resignation of officials, including Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian.

While the damage dealt by the blackouts has yet to be formally assessed, it has already hit private businesses hard. In tall buildings, the cuts have also led to water outages, further complicating the situation amid the coronavirus pandemic and Iran's typically scorching summer season.

Addressing the matter at a Cabinet meeting July 6, Presidents Hassan Rouhani expressed his apology to Iranians, but absolved the Energy Ministry of the responsibility. "We have no option," he noted, "other than cutting back." Rouhani assigned First Vice President Is'haq Jahangir with the task of investigating the blackouts. The Judiciary, in control of hard-liners, also launched its own probe under the country's ultraconservative prosecutor-general.

The latest outages marked a second wave in the past three months alone. The Iranian government has attributed the power cuts to multiple causes, including overconsumption amid high temperatures, and has criticized ordinary Iranians for their failure to economize.

However, to many Iranians, the main culprit continues to be cryptocurrency mining. Under sanctions, the Islamic Republic has in the past year intensified the profitable practice, which is expected to be injecting an annual $1 billion into the battered economy, yet at the price of overloading the country's electricity network.