On Sunday, pensioners and retirees conducted protests in dozens of Iranian cities for the eighth week in a row. They are demanding higher pensions because their basic everyday needs are constantly increasing price due to inflation.
The media and officials of the State recognize part of the economic situation in Iran. In the weeks prior to the New Year in Persia (Nowruz), families suffer against hunger. “On the eve of the New Year, skyrocketing prices have broken the backs of the poor,” informed Javad Esmail-Nia, the Friday Prayer Leader of Bandar Lengeh.
The state-run Resalat daily on 28 February, “More than 50% of the country’s population suffers from low wages and cannot afford food, let alone housing, clothing, travel, medicine, and treatment, or education.”
The regime allocates, on the basis of the free-market dollar value, a small number of subsidies, about 450,000 rials equivalent to $1.8 per month. Yet commodity costs are too high. “An Iranian citizen is only able to purchase one kilogram of fruit with the monthly subsidy,” added Esmail Nia on Friday.
In its public session on 27 February one of the MPs of the regime said: “By giving subsidies to people, it is like we give 100 to them and due to the rising inflation, they lose 200.”
Concurrently, “On the eve of Nowruz, Iranians only have to look with regret at the price of 50 to 298 thousand tomans per kilo of nuts. Compared to the increase in the price of other popular Nowruz goods such as sweets and fruits, nuts are a cheaper commodity,” wrote the state-run ILNA news agency.
The Iranians are confronted with hunger because of the regime’s corruption and misguided economic policies. Millions of people are unemployed. Those who have a job are receiving 2.5 to 3 million tomans. In comparison, “the average cost of a food basket for a family of four has reached 8 to 9 million tomans, and the poverty line has reached 10 million Tomans,” added the state-run Arman daily on Saturday.
Iran’s financial structure has been devastated by the regime’s economic policies, “Liquidity growth has set a new record. Since the beginning of this year, 2328 billion tomans have been added to liquidity every day. By the end of February, liquidity has exceeded the impressive figure of 3300 trillion tomans or 3300 trillion tomans.”
According to former MP Hassan Sobhani, “The government itself officially says that 65 to 70 million people, if not receive 45,000 tomans of subsidy, their lives will be in trouble. Thus, it is simple to say that our achievement is public poverty.”
The actions of the regime have strengthened the resilience the Iranian society. Daily protests by all walks of life, the uprising in Sistan and Baluchistan, and three nationwide uprisings over the last three years have shown that this government is not what the Iranian people want.
However, the situation is at a point where repression will no longer succeed. The government was able to oppress people temporarily however it only further contributed to the hate of people for the regime.