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'Unemployment! Unemployment!'

Mahmud Ahmadinejad speaks in a ceremony marking the 28th anniversary of the liberation of the southwestern city of Khoramshahr.
In a speech by Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in Khoramshahr today, he said that the government would root out unemployment from Khuzestan Province.

But he is being interrupted (see video) by a group of people shouting, "Unemployment! Unemployment!"

Crowds at official ceremonies, including at carefully monitored Ahmadinejad speeches, are usually expected to shout "Allah Akbar," "Down with the U.S." and also "Down with Israel."

The growing discontent over the economy seems to be behind the unusual disruption.

Iran's unemployment rate is reportedly at about 25 percent. Many of the young people among the unemployed even have university degrees.

Ahmadinejad was in Khoramshahr to mark the anniversary of the 1982 liberation of the city from Iraqi forces.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.


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