For the second day in a row, Iranians in Isfahan protested rising inflation and unemployment in the country. Government security forces have been called out in force to quell the protests, the BBC's Persian-language service reported Wednesday.Eyewitnesses reported protestors throwing stones and fires burning at the sites of the demonstrations, and security forces using tear gas and water cannons against the demonstrators, according to the BBC.Truck drivers and shopkeepers in the central Iranian city also protested the day before. Security forces were also present at the earlier demonstration, but did not disrupt the event or attack the protesters.The protesters in Isfahan shouted "Reza Shah, may your soul be glad," referring to the founder of the previous Pahlavi dynasty. Reza Shah's son, Muhammad Reza Shah, was overthrown in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.Videos of the protests chanting this slogan were shared on social media Tuesday.
Iran's dire economic situation has brought thousands of protesters to the streets over the past several months. Following the withdrawal of the United States from the 2015 six-country nuclear deal with Iran, international businesses have been wary of investing in the Islamic Republic for fear of running afoul of renewed American sanctions. The Iranian currency, the rial, has also experienced significant devaluation, which is disrupting business by driving up the cost of imports. Demonstrators have also protested the government's extensive military and financial investment in the ongoing conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and Iran's support for Hamas."Death to Palestine," "Help us, not Gaza," and "Leave Syria alone and deal with Iran," protesters shouted in a June demonstration in Tehran, calling on the Iranian regime to invest in its own economy rather than interfering in other spheres throughout the Middle East. Juliane Helmhold contributed to this report.
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