Iran: Pensioners and Retirees keep Protesting as Situation Escalates for Regime
Pensioners and retirees of the Iranian Social Security Organization have been holding rallies across the country calling for higher pensions due to the increasing inflation and mounting prices of goods.
Pensioners and retirees protests continued
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported on Sunday, pensioners, and retirees gathered in numerous towns and cities, including the capital Tehran, as well as in Arak, Ahvaz, Tabriz, Karaj, Khorramabad, Isfahan, and Rasht to name a few.
As well as protesting against the very low payments that they receive, the protesters were also drawing attention to the months of delays in receiving them. They called the government out for ignoring their demands and for refusing to answer their queries.
Pensioners and retirees live under the poverty line
The payments that these people receive are below the poverty line, meaning that they struggle to pay for even the most basic of items. All the while, regime officials become richer and richer, living lives of luxury.
The protesters were heard chanting about the inflation and high prices that are killing the people, calling for their pensions to at least be based on the inflation rate. They were also heard chanting that the retirees “live in hardships” while the “country sits on treasures”.
The number of participants increases week by week
This is the eighth nationwide rally held by the retirees and pensioners in just three months and it continues to spread further across the country to more towns and cities. With each protest rally, the number of participants increases.
The country’s economy is in decline because of the regime’s economic mismanagement and widespread corruption that has lasted decades. In just a few years, the country’s national currency has lost more than three-quarters of its value, yet pension payments have barely changed.
The situation is even more frustrating for pensioners.
The government’s own policy even states that pensions should be adjusted according to inflation rates, making the situation even more frustrating for the pensioners.
The regime’s own statistics indicate that more than three-quarters of pensioners are struggling to meet their needs. Considering that the regime’s own statistics are often engineered to downplay serious situations, it is presumed that there are many more than this that are struggling.
The poverty line in parts of the country is at about 100 million rials, but the average pensioner receives just 25 million rials.
The protesters are calling for their cause to be prioritized in parliament and they have a number of demands including access to free health care.
The protests have no coverage in the state-run media
The regime is hesitant to hit back at the protesters given the volatility of the situation. It has instead opted to be silent and has not given the protests any coverage in the media. Other protests in Iran in recent months have been met with great violence, but the pensioners so far have been subjected to intimidation.
But it is clear that the pensioners and retirees will not be intimidated into silence. They have shown their determination.
In any case, the pensioners have very little to lose. Poverty levels are reaching serious levels in Iran and many people are forced to take desperate measures to make ends meet. Some have had to remove meat or fruit from their diet, whereas those struggling more have resorted to “child sales”.