Iran Province Bans Sale of Food to Illegal Immigrants
In the latest account of discrimination against Afghans immigrants in Iran, Fars Province has prohibited the sale of food as well as the delivery of public services, like medical care, to illegal immigrants. The provincial government says the ban is aimed to prevent the spread of contagious diseases, as illegal immigrants have not gone through the required quarantine. The government has also threatened local employers like bakeries, grocery stores, and medical centers with closure if they hire illegal immigrants, and is asking public transit operators to check identification for foreign nationals.
Meanwhile, sanctions are proving to have a biting effect, particularly on vulnerable classes according to Arseh Sevom’s latest weekly report. Chicken prices have increased by over 30%, grain by over 50%, and vegetables by 99%. Government subsidies have been unable to keep up with the rising cost of living, which has led four labor and human rights activists jailed in Evin prison to join a petition calling for new subsides. “The sky-rocketing prices and undeniable inflation has brought workers, the retired, and wage earners to their wits’ end,” the letter states, and also goes on to condemn recent arrests of labor activists.
Additionally, Iran announced this week the arrest of two Azerbaijan nationals whom they accused of espionage with links to Azerbaijan’s secret service. The two men, Shahryar Hajizadeh and Farid Husseinov, reportedly entered the country for cultural activities and have been detained since May. Earlier this year, Azerbaijan arrested 22 Iranian nationals on similar charges.
Also, an online poll posted on Iran’s state new channel was pulled down Tuesday after 63% of respondents said they were in favor of stopping Iran’s nuclear enrichment program to ease sanctions. The poll asked “What method do you prefer for facing the unilateral Western sanctions against Iran?”, with three choices: stop enriching uranium, close the Strait of Hormuz, or resist. The latter two received 20% and 18% respectively.