rouhani faces protests at site of deadly mine collapse
Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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Arab Today, arab today
Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
Arab Today, arab today

Rouhani faces protests at site of deadly mine collapse

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Rouhani faces protests at site of deadly mine collapse

Workers stand at the scene of a coal mine in northern Iran
Tehran - Arab Today

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani faced angry protests from victims’ families on Sunday when he visited the site of a mine accident that claimed dozens of lives, two weeks ahead of an election.
Local news agencies showed family members shouting at the president and hitting his car as he visited the site in the northern Golestan province, where at least 26 people were killed by an explosion on Wednesday.
“The entire Iranian nation shares the sorrow of families of those killed in the Zemestan Yort mine accident,” Rouhani said, according to the government’s website.
“Those responsible and anyone who had a fault in the incident must be found and dealt with accordingly, without any exceptions,” said Rouhani, who is standing for re-election on May 19.
As well as 26 confirmed dead, at least nine more miners were trapped inside after Wednesday’s explosion, but officials say there is little chance they have survived.
The accident is thought to have been caused by concentrated methane gas that was triggered when workers tried to jump-start an engine. Workers and families are angry over poor safety conditions, but also over delayed wages — a common problem in factories and industrial enterprises across the country.
Labor Minister Ali Rabii traveled 1,400 meters deep into the mine earlier, where rescue teams have been trying to unblock the collapsed tunnel.
The president has ordered a task force to investigate the causes of the explosion and handle compensation for victims and their families.
“We are all responsible in this incident,” said Rouhani, calling for tighter regulations in the mining sector.
Iran’s state TV, meanwhile, censored a documentary released by Rouhani’s campaign, ahead of the upcoming presidential election.
A Rouhani campaign official said one censored segment showed supporters chanting for opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has been under house-arrest since 2011 and whose Green Movement hard-liners oppose. Also omitted was a picture of former President Mohammed Khatami, whose name and image have been banned in Iranian media since 2015.
He said state TV also cut out a remark by a student in which he said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei supported the 2015 landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
The documentary was a collection of Rouhani’s past speeches, on various issues, during his visits to various provinces.
Khatami recently announced his support for Rouhani, and Mousavi is also considered a Rouhani supporter.
Rouhani, who vowed to lift Mousavi’s house arrest in his 2013 campaign, is running in the election against five other candidates. That promise remains to be fulfilled.
In a separate report, the IRNA news agency published the results of a Monday survey in which nearly 64 percent of a 6,047 person sample group said they will be voting, while 20 percent said they were undecided.
It added that some 55 percent had already decided on their candidates; 45 percent said they support the moderate-reformist camp, while more that 23 percent supported the hard-line groups.
Additionally, the survey asked where they would seek guidance for their vote; some 50 percent said they would decide for themselves, 16 percent said they would follow the lead of friends and relatives in making their decision, 14 percent said they would refer to clerics, 13 percent to political groups, six percent to university students and academics, and 1.3 percent said they would emulate artists and athletes.
Rouhani won the 2013 presidential election with nearly 51 percent of 37 million votes in a 73 percent turnout.
There are some 55 million eligible voters in the upcoming election.

Source: Arab News

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