Despite the regime’s suppression and the crackdown on protesters, there have been a number of protests taking place across Iran on a regular basis for the past few months.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that pensioners across the country have been holding rallies in 18 cities, including capital city Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Karaj, and several others. The protesters made it clear that they hold the government responsible for the poverty that is so prevalent in Iran.
Many drew attention to their income of 30 million rials – an utter pittance when you consider that the poverty line is at 120 million rials.
The economic crisis
The regime has tried to convince the people that the economic problems are a direct result of international pressure and US sanctions.
The regime often refers to the “foreign enemies” that have caused so many problems, but the protesters – on this occasion just like during many past protests – made it very clear that the enemy is “right here” in Iran.
MEK supporters from the city of Tehran reported that the protesting pensioners were also joined by others including small investors and teachers that also have major grievances against the government.
In less than two months, pensioners have held four organized nationwide protests. Despite the regime’s crackdown on protesters, the people of Iran are becoming increasingly defiant.
The November 2019 uprising
The regime cracked down hard on the protesters participating in the November 2019 uprising. There were more than 10,000 arrests, more than 4,000 injured, and around 1,500 fatalities due to the sheer brutality of the authorities.
Reuters confirmed in a special report on December 23, 2019, about the deadly crackdown on November nationwide protests in Iran the death toll of 1500 that was announced by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) on December 15, 2019.
Yet the people are continuing to make their voices heard. They have realized that the lack of international support means that the burden is on the shoulders of the people. They are bravely standing up to the regime and making it understand that its despotic rule will not be tolerated.
It has been said for years that the people of Iran will be the driving force behind regime change and this is more applicable than ever. The regime’s pure violence will not even stop the people from protesting against the regime.
State-run media outlets
State-run media outlets are warning the regime that society is in an explosive state and that it should not be surprised when there is another uprising.
Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) emphasized that the most basic of items are drastically increasing in price, pushing basic goods out of reach to many. It gave the example of meat, indicating that prices have increased by 21 percent in just a year. The Vatane Emrooz publication echoed this, saying that many basics such as fruit, vegetables, rice, and beans have had their prices increased by a factor of two to four.
Other publications have emphasized that the regime is to blame for the economic problems that the people face. The state-run Jahan-e Sanat publication, for example, wrote that the economic problems are so deep-rooted that they would still exist even if every sanction was lifted and if Iran could export its oil at previous levels. It emphasized that the widespread and engrained corruption has worsened the economic problems, leaving them to endure.