According to reports from the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) dozens of protests were held in recent days by people from all walks of life. These demonstrations reflect society’s unrest and the regime’s inability to resolve Iran’s social and economic problems.
Iranian pensioners protested
Iranian pensioners protested in a dozen Iranian cities on Tuesday, demanding their delayed pensions, equal pensions, and bonuses. The regime refuses to modify pensions and salaries to keep pace with rising inflation and a weakening national currency.
Last week, Iranian teachers began the new academic year with a series of statewide protests. These demonstrations followed on the heels of continuous teacher protests that began on September 3. Green report card teachers, who passed the Education Ministry’s employment test, have staged many protests. Despite the shortage of instructors in Iran, the dictatorship has so far refused to hire them.
By failing to adjust people’s pensions to the current economic condition and keeping them at a low level, the government has its hands in their pockets. The regime raised wages by 39 percent in April. However, due to rising inflation, as per state-run media, “this pay increase was a farce.”
“A 39% increase in salaries in 2021 will cover only 37 percent of the people’s cost of living. A worker’s salary of 4 million Tomans covers only ten days of the month, and after that, the workers barely make ends meet until the end of the month. They have to remove many of the basic expenses of their lives,” Kar-o Kargar wrote, quoting Ali Aslani, a member of the board of directors of the Islamic Labor Councils.
“A 10% increase in salary equates to 260 thousand Tomans added to the salary base, whereas prices have risen by up to 60% in some cases,” Aslani says.
Iran’s poverty line
Iran’s poverty line is projected to be around 10 million tomans, according to state-run media and officials. In the meanwhile, the base salary is 3.9 million tomans.
“The Iranian Statistics Center estimates the poverty line to be between 11 and 12 million tomans, but we have teachers who earn between four and five million tomans on average. “With the exception of high-ranking officials, 99 percent of academics live in poverty,” Etemad daily said on September 28, purposefully omitting to mention teachers’ poor salaries.
Ebrahim Raisi, the regime’s new president, and his administration have yet to develop an economic plan to aid the people and tackle inflation. Raisi has only made several visits and made a few empty promises, emphasizing that the problems would be remedied ‘if God wills’.
Raisi’s government, in fact, was hand-picked by the regime’s Supreme Leader for consolidating power through terrorism and domestic oppression. The regime’s tyranny is intended to quell protests and keep Iran’s restive people under control. The number of arrests made during protests has risen in recent days.
“The recent arrests are apparently intended to prevent the continuation or spread of protests and to intimidate trade unions. Yet due to the Iranians’ spirit, the arrest of a person hurts the conscience of his colleagues and encourages them to continue his path,” as reported by Etemad daily.
“As a result, an anomalous situation prevails over the phenomenon of protests, with the [regime] being the biggest loser amid rising pressure on various segments of the country,” Etemad daily concludes.