At Least 30 Iranian Truckers Arrested as of Sixth Day of Renewed Strikes
Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA)- As the most recent round of truckers’ strikes entered its 6th day on September 27th, dozens of truckers had been arrested by security forces.
Stalling commercial transport across several Iranian cities–including Shahr-e Kord, Ardabil, Nain, Karaj, Isfahan, Arak, Nishapur, Zarrin Shahr, Urmia, Sabzevar, Rafsanjan, Qazvin, Dezful–striking drivers heeded the call of the national truck-driver’s trade union to cease their operations until authorities addressed their demands, including an increase in pensions, subsidized pricing for parts, 70+% hikes in fares, payment of drivers’ insurance premiums, the removal of brokers from terminals, and increased supervision of officers and agents, positions that have proven susceptible to bribes in the past.
In wake of the industry unrest, local prosecutors have confirmed the arrests of multiple truck drivers; as of the date of this report, Qazvin Prosecutor Esmail Sadegh Niaraki, the Karaj Prosecutor, and the Ardebil Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor Naser Atabati announced the arrest of 15, 7, and 8 truckers in their respective jurisdictions, claiming that the detained drivers had disrupted public order by blocking the roads. Reports indicate at least 30 strikers in various cities have been arrested since the strikes first began on Saturday, September 22nd.
On Thursday, truck drivers received text notifications of fuel allotments for drivers who didn’t participate in the strike and who can provide a bill of lading. These messages are reportedly an attempt by authorities to deter the ongoing protests.
Head of Tehran Poultry Farm Union Mohammad Yousef opined that the shortage and rising prices of poultry (currently $1USD (100 thousand IRR) per kilogram) could be resolved if the striking truckers were to resume their usual routes.
Roads and Urban Development Ministry Deputy Abdol-Hashem Hassan Nia claimed that road freight transportation is ongoing, and promised a more consistent supply of domestic tires for truckers. He indicated that leveraging more of the country’s tire supply from a government supply organ known as the Organization for Collection and Sale of State-owned Properties of Iran (OCSSPI) would be the next step in the resolution process.
“Also, on orders from the vice president, the import tariff on tires will be reduced to 5%, which should accelerate the importation,” Nia said, estimating the resultant supply increase could resolve the road fleet’s tire complaints within a month.
HRANA previously reported on the fifth day of the nationwide truck driver strikes and the reactions they drew from authorities.