Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, February 21, 2021—On Sunday, pensioners and welfare recipients held protest rallies in several cities to reiterate their demands from the regime. This is the second consecutive week that pensioners hold organized rallies despite the heavy atmosphere of repression and presence of security forces. In the past years, the pensioners have been regularly protesting low wages and the government’s refusal to adjust their pensions based on the devaluation of the rial and the rising inflation rate.
Sunday’s protests were held in Tehran, Ahvaz, Neyshabur, Tabriz, Isfahan, Ilam, Yazd, Arak, Kermanshah, Qazvin, Ardebil, Bojnurd, Karaj, Shushtar, and Khorramabad.
In Tehran, the rally was held in front of the offices of the Social Security Organization and chanted, “We are fed up with this injustice,” “The pensioners demand salaries adjusted for inflation rates,” “We are empty handed, you are living comfortably.”
In Isfahan, the protesters gathered in front of the local office of the Social Security Organization and were chanting, “Enough with the tyranny! Our tables are empty!”
Protest rally of pensioners in Isfahan
In Ahvaz, the protesters also rallied in front of the Social Security Organization office and protested the trampling of their basic rights. “No nation has seen such injustice,” they were chanting.
The decline in Iran’s economy, spurred by government corruption and destructive policies, has plunged the lives of many pensioners and retired government workers into utter poverty. While the price of the national currency, the rial, has lost more than 80 percent of its value in the past few years, pensions have not changed much, and the government has not adjusted salaries based on the change of currency prices and inflation rates. Under the current rates, most pensioners live under the poverty line. According to the regime’s own statistics, more than 75 percent of pensioners are struggling to procure their needs.
The protesters are demanding the implementation of article 96 of the welfare law, which states that pensions must be adjusted to allow pensioners to procure their needs. The protesters are also demanding free health care for pensioners and the prioritization of the pensioners’ demands in Majlis sessions.
Pensioners have been continuously holding protest rallies, but the government has yet to respond to their demands.