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A look at the protests of Iranian pensioners

Pensioners in Tehran raise a banner in their protest reading, "Our demand is to have our independent assembly and our real representatives."
Pensioners in Tehran raise a banner in their protest reading, "Our demand is to have our independent assembly and our real representatives."

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

Iran, August 31, 2019–"We will not stop until we get our rights." "We shout at so much injustice." These are some of the slogans being chanted by Iranian pensioners in their protests against the corruption and injustice of the Iranian regime. Despite all their economic and physical problems, the retired workers and employees of the Iranian public sector have been regularly taking to the streets to reclaim their trampled rights.

Recently, Iranian pensioners held protests on August 26 in two large cities to express their outrage over their unsolved problems. The protests provided a glimpse of the situation these hardworking people are enduring.

The first demonstration was held in Tehran. Pensioners gathered in front of the Iranian regime's Labor Office and held banners that demanded the right to association and freedom of expression. They also expressed concern about their imprisoned coworkers and demanded the release of jailed teachers.

At the same time, a similar protest was held in Isfahan, where retired teachers and education workers held protests. Working teachers joined the demonstration in solidarity with the pensioners. The demonstrators were protesting to the poor living conditions of the retired workers and pressure against teacher activists.

The continuation of the protests of pensioners

The truth is that since coming to power, the mullahs have yielded nothing but poverty, unemployment and corruption for the people of Iran. Like all other segments of the Iranian society, the retired workers of Iran have not been exempted from this situation.

Government officials are regularly admitting that the economic conditions have become so bad that the people are struggling to make ends meet.

Naturally, wherever there's corruption and tyranny, there will also be protests. Retired teachers also held protests in July in front of the headquarters of the Iranian regime's ministry of education in Isfahan. Around the same time, retired and working teachers held protests in Urmia, again in front of the local offices of the Iranian regime's education ministry.

A quick look at news shows that not a week or month goes by without Iranian pensioners holding protests.

The demands of Iranian pensioners

Even though protests by retired workers and teachers start with economic demands, they quickly turn into political opposition to the entirety of the mullahs' regime. Like all other Iranian communities, pensioners have learned that they will never achieve their economic demands while their country is ruled by a vicious dictatorship.

For example, recent demonstrations by Iranian pensioners stared with protests against low and unpaid wages, and lack of policy to adjust pensions with rising inflation rates. But very quickly, the demonstrations became political in nature and the demands pivoted toward the recognition of the right to association and the release of jailed teachers.

The retired workers of Iran started chanting slogans such as "Our enemy is right here, [the regime] is lying that it's the U.S." and "No to thievery, no to disgrace, this is the slogan of the people." These are slogans that became very popular during the 2017-2018 popular anti-regime protests. In their protests, the retired teachers, workers and employees showed how much they're outraged with the Iranian regime and the ruling mullahs.

The Iranian regime's response to the demands of pensioners

Knowing that it has no answer to the just demands of the hardworking retired workers, the regime's response, as with all other protests, has been to crack down on demonstrators, arrest them, torture them and punish them with heavy prison sentences.

During the recent protests in Isfahan, fearing the expansion of the teachers' protests, the Iranian regime sent its plainclothes agents to attack the protesters, rip their banners and beat them. But the teachers and education workers continued their protests, unfazed by the threats of the Iranian regime's repressive forces.

The Iranian regime resorted to similar measures in the protests that took place in Urmia and tried to prevent the retired Iranian workers from continuing their protests.

Needless to say that the violent reactions of the Iranian regime to the protests and demands of retired workers only displays its weakness and incapacity to run one of the richest countries in the world. But as recent months have shown, suppression will not dissuade the pensioners from fighting for their demands. On the contrary they come to the streets more often to reclaim what the mullahs have unjustly taken away from them.

The regime's dead end

Iranian regime officials regularly confess to the poor living conditions of pensioners. Mohammad Zaman Rezaei, the Friday prayer leader of Savak Kouh said in August, "Some government officials receive 640 million rials per month while many pensioners don't receive anything."

Earlier in July, an Iranian MP said, "It has been two years that the government hasn't adjusted pension funds. How can we responds to the demands of retired workers?"

Due to its reactionary and fundamentalist nature, the Iranian regime neither can nor will respond to the demands of Iranian pensioners and other segments of the Iranian society. Therefore it is only expectable to see more protests in the coming months. Shoulder to shoulder with other protesters, Iranian pensioners are gradually pushing the mullahs' regime toward its ultimate demise.

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