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Ahwazi Arab rebels blow up pipeline in Iran

A major gas pipeline feeding Iran's massive Marun petrochemicals complex was blown up by Ahwazi rebels belonging to the Brigades of the Martyr Mohieldain al-Naser on Monday (5 August).

A statement claiming responsibility was published on the website of the National Resistance of Al-Ahwaz, a pro-independence group working in exile with headquarters in Denmark. The Brigades of the Martyr Mohieldain al-Naser are the military wing of the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz. The attack occurred on the first day of the inauguration of President Hassan Rouhani and is a reminder to the regime that ethnic Arabs are increasingly angry over high levels of poverty and unemployment, issues on which he campaigned during the presidential election.

In its statement, the rebel group condemned both the regime's execution campaign against Ahwazi dissidents, Iran's intervention in Syria and its influence in Iraq. It vowed to fight and overthrow the regime alongside Kurdish and Balochi rebels.

The complex located in Mahshahr has one of the largest ethylene capacities in the world, with annual production capacity of 1.1 million tonnes of ethylene feeding a multitude of downstream units. Facing international sanctions on oil exports, Iran is more reliant on the petrochemicals industry. However, Ahwazi Arabs endure the environmental destruction and economic marginalisation that has accompanied the rapid growth of this industrial sector.