Iranian citizens have been filmed fleeing for their lives in a metro station after security forces appeared to open fire on them from across the platform. During the first day of a three-day national strike to mark earlier protests in 2019, hundreds of thousands of Iranians flooded the streets across the country. In the capital Tehran, thousands of protesters could be seen chanting “This is the year Seyed Ali (Khamenei) is overthrown!” outside the Shariati Metro Station. Subsequent footage showed panicked citizens on one of the platforms as what appears to be gunshots are heard being fired from the other side.
Hundreds of protesters were filmed on the metro platform in Tehran frantically running for the exit as a group of men dressed in black attire appeared to open fire from across the platform.
As the desperate citizens run for their lives, dozens of them collapse into a pile-on.
Screams can be heard from people in the crowds as citizens on the safe side of the station hold their head in their hands.
The shooting appears to cease as a train makes it way into the station, blocking the protesters from the gunfire. The video has not been verified but footage of protesters outside the Shariati Metro Station was confirmed by the People’s Mujahideen Organisation of Iran.
Iranian shops in Tehran’s historic Grand Bazaar and elsewhere across the country closed their doors Tuesday amid protests gripping the nation, as two prominent soccer stars also announced they would not be attending the upcoming World Cup over the demonstrations.
The shop closures came amid calls for a three-day national strike to mark earlier protests in 2019 against Iran’s theocracy that ended in a violent crackdown by authorities.
However, this round of demonstrations after the September death of a 22-year-old woman earlier detained by the country’s morality police have continued despite activists recording at least 344 deaths and 15,820 arrests so far.
The protests have seen prominent former players Ali Daei and Javad Nekounam both say they’ve declined a FIFA invitation to attend the World Cup in Qatar, where Iran will play, opening their campaign against England on Monday.
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Shuttered storefronts could be seen across Tehran, Iran’s capital, on Tuesday. Several shops did remain open, however, as a heavy security presence could be seen on the streets.
Videos taken earlier Tuesday showed crowds gathered outside of the closed shops, some shouting: “This year is a year of blood; Seyyed Ali will be toppled!”
The chant, heard in other protests, refuses to use the title ayatollah to refer to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. An ayatollah is a high-ranking Shiite cleric and such calls targeting Khamenei can bring a death sentence in Iran’s closed-door Revolutionary Courts.
Other online videos purported to show shops closed elsewhere in the country as well, with some scattered demonstrations taking place.
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A call on social media had gone out demanding a national strike not to buy or sell anything to mark the 2019 protests in Iran that followed a hike in government-subsidised gasoline prices that activists say saw at least 321 people killed in a subsequent crackdown.
Strikes may increasingly put pressure on the Iranian government, which so far has dismissed the demonstrators’ demands as a foreign plot by its enemies as opposed to an outpouring of public frustration.
Widening the demonstrations into strikes and boycotts could further raise pressure on Iran’s government, which already has seen its economy suffer under international sanctions after the collapse of its nuclear deal with world powers. So far though, it has yet to affect production in its crucial oil and natural gas industry.
The United Nations human rights office separately called on Iran’s government to immediately release thousands of people who have been detained for participating in peaceful protests.
Iran’s theocracy has been trying to solidify its support amid the demonstrations, holding rallies to mark the November 4, 1979, takeover and subsequent hostage crisis at the US Embassy in Tehran.
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