There were protests held by social security retirees in more than a dozen cities across Iran earlier this week, including the capital city Tehran and other major cities. According to reports tallied by Iran’s main opposition the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), They were protesting against their extremely low pensions that are not even enough to cover the most basic of needs.
#Iran: Numerous Protests Held Across Country Despite Regime’s Crackdown on Dissent:(#NCRI)&(#PMOI/#MEK) The protesting retirees say their pensions are lower than military retirees and want the pensions to be equalized. https://t.co/U8WO3AQrHz #WeStand4FreeIran pic.twitter.com/YOp3vkGf5F
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) January 29, 2021
Corruption and economic mismanagement
More and more people across Iran are falling into absolute poverty because of the regime’s widespread corruption and economic mismanagement that has lasted for decades. Inflation keeps increasing, the stock market recently crashed and purchasing power for the people is declining all the time. As always, it is the people that have to deal with the consequences while the regime’s officials fill their own pockets.
The retired social security workers were heard chanting that they are determined to win their rights back. Their discontent is echoed across all sectors of society. Earlier this week many other protests and rallies took place, including by nurses, teachers, drivers, and so on.
The state-run Vatan-e Emrooz publication reported about the protests, saying that the public anger that is present “needs no explanation”. Another state-run publication, Mamlekat, also wrote that the people are “crushed under inflation” emphasizing that “their tables are becoming emptier”. And this is literal – the poverty that has been provoked by the regime’s terrible policies are literally causing many people to starve.
Fruit and vegetables are unaffordable to many. The state-run Gatreh publication wrote earlier this week that several kilograms of fruit are equal to a day and a half pension of a retiree.
This social inequality is making the people angry and it is very concerning for the regime. The November 2019 uprising was sparked by the announcement of a rise in fuel prices and it took the regime by surprise. The protests grew in size and intensity and in a very quick time they grew too large for the regime to handle.
The security forces were ordered to respond violently and thousands of people were killed or seriously injured.
The regime’s brutality temporarily put a stop to the uprising, but there is absolutely no doubt that another will break out soon. In fact, the regime’s brutal reaction to the popular uprising has just made the people more determined to continue fighting for freedom, in particular for those that were killed, injured, or arrested for their resistance.
Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook: “The @Reuters report on the massacre ordered by @khamenei_ir underscores the urgency for the international community to punish the perpetrators and isolate the regime for the murder of 1,500 Iranian citizens.” https://t.co/TpUncLjDcv
— Department of State (@StateDept) December 23, 2019
The regime has taken advantage of the Coronavirus health crisis, initiating inhumane policies, covering up the gravity of the pandemic, and letting many people die or become ill. However, pandemic or not, the people want their rights back.
Over 208,300 people have died of the coronavirus across all of Iran’s 31 provinces, according to reports tallied by the Iranian opposition the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran).
The recent protests by social security retirees are indicative of the restlessness of society. Like the Vatan-e Emrooz publication wrote, the protests show the “accumulation of hatred and social anger that may lead to blind violence”. This “blind violence” it speaks of is the people’s absolute disgust of the regime.
It used to be a question of “if” there is another uprising, now it is simply a question of “when”.