The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) reported, for the fourth time in February, retirees, pensioners, and welfare recipients held rallies in more than a dozen cities across Iran.
The continuation of demonstrations by retirees
Protesters are holding the government accountable for their appalling living conditions and low pensions.
The protesters chanted, “No nation has experienced such injustice,” “High prices and inflation are the people’s problem,” “We are fed up with this injustice,” “Retiree’s demand salaries based on the inflation rate.”
The continuation of demonstrations heralds a new round of nationwide protests, similar to those seen in November 2019, when the rise of gas prices triggered rallies in more than 200 cities across the country in a matter of days. The regime’s main concern is another uprising.
Gatherings in various cities
Other societal groups have held gatherings in various cities in the recent weeks, including, contract teachers, public school janitors, and steel and mine industry retirees from Isfahan province who rallied in front of the Parliament in Tehran.
Workers at the HEPCO factory in Arak city, Markazi province, protested the government’s failure to settle the factory’s debts and have refrained from restarting production.
Further to this, locals in Sanandaj, Kurdistan province, protested the government’s failure to resolve their dilemmas to Vice-President Eshagh Jahangiri.
Fallen into extreme poverty
Residents of Chulab Kouchesfahan village, near Rasht in Gilan province, have been protesting state-backed institutions’ environmental destruction and professionals from the Ilam province’s Petrochemical Plant have also been participating in protests.
They voiced their anger and frustration at the regime’s lack of consideration for their predicament. Many families have fallen into extreme poverty as a result of the regime’s mismanagement and systematic corruption in past years.
The state-controlled Arman newspaper wrote in February, “The people’s purchasing power has decreased. Many people are unable to buy basic goods like shampoo, face masks, and even eggs and bread. The people’s economic power has declined, pushing the middle-classes into poverty. If today some have been forced to buy bread on credit, we should look for money that has exited the country by the Aghazadehs (officials’ children).”
The uprising in Sistan and Baluchestan
Nonetheless, the recent uprising in Sistan and Baluchestan, as well as people’s opposition to oppressive forces, exemplify the current discontentment of the people of Iran with the regime. People are taking the streets to voice their frustrations with the regime.
The failure of the Iranian regime to meet the people’s basic demands is at the root of this crisis. “Inattention to demands and living conditions of the low-income class and those literally living in slums has resulted in deep crises. The protests in November 2019 were a specific example of such crises,” according to an article published by the state-controlled Mostaghel newspaper on 20 February.
corruption in the government
The state-controlled Hamdeli daily wrote on a piece on the 24 February, “Political rivalries are fruitless, and (officials) must consider this truth to deter irreparable risks.”
Despite the brutal suppression in November 2019, Iran’s society has demonstrated that it will never succumb to authoritarian leaders’ desires. On the other hand, due to systemic corruption in the government and international isolation as a result of the regime’s malign behavior abroad, the regime is essentially incapable of resolving the people’s problems.