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Iran’s regime can’t handle growing protests

Protests of retirees and pensioners in more than 20 cities across Iran – April 2021.
Protests of retirees and pensioners in more than 20 cities across Iran – April 2021.

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

Iran, April 6, 2021—Retirees and pensioners across Iran held protest rallies on Sunday in more than 20 cities protesting low pensions. The growing inflation and rising prices of basic goods have put immense pressure on pensioners, whose purchase power continues to decline. This is the ninth round of protests of retirees and pensioners in the last three months. These protests are held while the regime has intensified repression and prevent any protest rally.

But these measures backfired and resulted in the first nationwide protest in the new Persian year.

In recent days various regime officials have acknowledged the harsh economic situation. “Inflation has ruined people’s lives,” Abbas Akoundi, a former Minister of Roads and Urban Development, said on April 4.

“After 42 years of this system, people must wait in long queues to buy poultry!” said Mohammad Asafari, a member of the Majlis (Parliament).

Even the regime’s Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri acknowledged on April 4 that there are 12 million people living in slums at the fringes of big cities, and the growing poor population is a serious concern. “There is a large number of families that have no source of income,” Jahangiri admitted.

Regime officials also acknowledged that the tough economic situation has raised public outrage toward the mullahs’ establishment in its entirety.

Alireza Beigi, a member of the Majlis, said that people’s purchasing power is decreasing by the day. “If the mistakes of the past are not compensated and no solution is found to change the current situation, great damage will await us. People will react at an opportune time,” Beigi said. “The feeling of oppression in the plundered investors in stock market, anger and rage from the unfortunate consequences of the incident of raising gasoline prices, unbridled inflation, and long queues to buy oil and chicken cannot be ignored. The effects of these catastrophes will be evident in the upcoming elections.”

Previously, on March 23, MP Ghassem Shole Sa’adi warned, “The situation in Iran is like a ticking bomb and any spark can result in a widespread uprising.”

The regime’s corrupt economic policies have resulted in nothing but devastating poverty and deprivation for tens of millions across Iran.

The anti-regime slogans of the retirees and pensioners on Sunday portrayed the public hatred of the Iranian society toward the mullahs’ corruption and oppression. The protesters chanted, “We will not vote anymore, we’ve seen no justice,” “This is our demand, pensions based on inflation rates,” and “Have some shame, give us our rights.”

The continuation of social protests is a serious problem for the regime. The mullahs are unable to prevent the expansion of these demonstrations. And by ignoring or repressing the protests, the regime is only pouring fuel on the fire of the Iranian people’s resent toward their rulers. On the other side, the main question remains on how the regime will handle the situation. The regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei knows too well that the continuation of these social movements can lead to major uprisings such as in December 2017, November 2019, and January 2020.