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Golestan Welcomes Rouhani With Stones | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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People gather at the site of an explosion in a coal mine in Golestan Province, in northern Iran. Tasnim News Agency/via REUTERS Reuters

London- The promises of outgoing Iranian President Hassan Rouhani were met on Sunday with stones, thrown by angry workers on his convoy while he was visiting the northern province of Golestan where a coal mine collapsed last Wednesday.

From the city of Urmia, hours after visiting the mine, Rouhani called on the Basij apparatus of the Revolutionary Guards, without naming them, to “offer clarifications to the Iranians concerning the situation of the mine and the circumstances of the accident.” The Basij owns the mine.

Last Wednesday, at least 30 miners were killed when a coal mine collapsed in northern Iran, while rescue workers continue to search for tens of other trapped miners.

Contradictory reports followed the visit of Rouhani to Golestan.

The Fars and Tasnim news agencies, linked to the Revolutionary Guards, published snapshot photos showing tension in the Zemestan-Yort mine when President Rouhani was delivering a speech among workers and family members of the collapsed mine.

Their reports said that families of the victims refused that Rouhani leaves before uncovering the fate of those trapped underground in the province of Golestan.

The miners chanted slogans against ignoring the living conditions of workers in Iran.

On the other hand, IRNA and Isna news agencies, which support Rouhani, accused other media outlets of “trying to distort what happened in the mine location and to use workers’ woes for electoral purposes.”

Last Thursday, Iranian Labor and Social Welfare Minister Ali Rabi’ei announced the killing of 30 workers in a collapse at the Yurt mine.

The protest staged on Sunday is the second facing Rouhani in a week. Last Monday, around 30,000 workers had confronted the president while he delivered a speech at Imam Khomeini’s mausoleum complex in southern Tehran. The workers chanted slogans slamming Rouhani for ignoring workers’ living conditions in Iran.