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Hundreds March in Southern Iran to Protest Planned Division of City

Hundreds of residents of Kazerun, Iran, joined a protest on May 16, 2018 to denounce a proposal by the southern city’s lawmaker to turn some of its outlying districts into a new city.

Hundreds of Iranians have joined a protest in a southern city to denounce a plan to convert some of its outlying districts into a new city that they fear would rob them of government funding.

Images sent to VOA Persian from Wednesdy's protest in Kazerun suggest that about 1,000 people demonstrated peacefully in a city square.

In another YouTube video of the protest posted by, an exiled Iranian dissident website focusing on labor rights in Iran, marchers chanted, “We will defend our honor with zeal and bravery.”

The protesters demanded that the Iranian government reject a lawmaker’s proposal to divide Kazerun administratively.

Lawmaker Hossein Rezazadeh, who represents Kazerun, lives in one of the areas that he seeks to transfer to the new city, but his proposal has yet to win the necessary approval of Iran’s cabinet.

Rezazadeh wants to create a new city named Kuh-e-Chinar, incorporating parts of northern Kazerun’s outlying districts of Nowdan and Qaemiyeh. Many residents oppose the plan, fearing the new city would draw government funds away from Kazerun and create a new layer of corrupt bureaucracy in the area.

There was no word about when the Iranian government will make a decision on the plan.

Iran has seen frequent anti-government protests since December, with dozens to hundreds of people gathering around the country to denounce local and national officials and business leaders whom they accuse of corruption, mismanagement and suppression of freedoms.

Arash Sigarchi of VOA's Persian Service contributed to this report.