More Oil Workers In Iran Call For Strike As Unrest Continues

By RFE/RL's Radio Farda

Permanent workers in Iran's oil industry say they will join a strike announced by contract oil workers and will stop work on October 29 to protest the government's crackdown on a wave of nationwide demonstrations following last month's death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman arrested for not wearing her hijab "properly."

The announced strike of petrochemical industry workers could cripple a key sector of Iran's economy, already battered by international sanctions.

The Organizing Council of Oil Contract Workers in Iran announced on October 27 that petrochemical contract workers will strike starting October 29 in solidarity with the popular revolt against the government's repression.

The council on October 28 said permanent oil workers will also join their contract colleagues strike from October 29.

The council said in a statement that the strikers demand the immediate release of detained protesters, including more than 250 of their colleagues, as well as all political prisoners.

The Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights says the crackdown has killed at least 215 people, including 27 children. The authorities have yet to announce a death toll, but state media have said around 30 members of the security forces have been killed.

Iranian leaders have accused the United States and other Western countries of fomenting what they call "riots."

Strikes have been reported in several cities in recent days, especially in southern areas where Iran's oil industry -- one of the few sectors of the economy able to bring in revenue -- is located.

There are also reports indicating that Iranian workers and shopkeepers across the country will also join in nationwide protests on October 29.

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL's Radio Farda