Numerous video clips published on social media show groups of residents in Ahvaz, the capital of oil-rich Khuzestan province came to the streets to protest Sunday evening.
Some reports say that the reason for the protests was the death of an ethnic Arab dissident poet in hospital.
Hassan Haydari (Heydari), a young man, was arrested last year but later released on bail. Apparently, protesters believe that his death in the city’s Shafa hospital was suspicious.
Ahvaz has a substantial Arab community and there have been intermittent tensions between residents and the government.
Videos on social media show people have blocked a main road and some protesters have started large fires in the streets. In one video sounds resembling sporadic gunfire is heard.
Local and central government officials have not yet reacted to these events.