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Iran: More protests raise fears among regime officials

Retired oil industry workers holding a protest rally in Arak, western Iran
Retired oil industry workers holding a protest rally in Arak, western Iran

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, February 7, 2020—As we near the February 21 Majlis (parliament) elections farce in Iran, regime officials are desperate to claim credibility through a high voter turnout. As a result, any protest rally in the period leading up to the elections sham is considered a major crisis by regime officials and measures are taken to silence and clamp down on such scenes as quickly as possible.

On Thursday, February 6, regime authorities dispatched water-cannon anti-riot vehicles to Tehran’s Azadi (Freedom) Stadium for a derby game fearing such a scene could quickly evolve into an anti-regime demonstration.

In the towns of Saqqez and Zeyviyeh in Kurdistan Province, western Iran, a number of teachers held placards in a rally in support of members of the Northern Khorasan Province Teachers Union (in northeast Iran) who have been sentenced to jail time, lashing and financial fines.

It is worth noting that on Wednesday, January 29, Mohammad Reza Ramezanzadeh, Saeed Paghparast, Ali Forutan, Mostafa Robati, Hassan Johari, Hamidreza Rajaie and Hossein Ramezanpour, all members of the Northern Khorasan Province Teachers Union, were sentenced by a so-called “Revolution Court” to a total of 41 years and eight months behind bars, 222 lashes and 30 million rials in fees.

Protest rally in the towns of Saqqez and Zeyviyeh, western Iran

Protest rally in the towns of Saqqez and Zeyviyeh, western Iran

On Tuesday, February 4, two well workers in the village of Darband near the town of Khomein in Markazi (Central Province) of Iran, unfortunately, lost their lives as the walls of this 12-meter well crumbled. This incident was the result of an explosion due to the accumulation of gas that literally buried the two workers alive.

In Arak, a city in western Iran, retired workers of the regime’s oil industry held a rally outside the Oil Industry Retirement Fund building, protesting the privatization and other measures taken by authorities to merge this fund to the Kermanshah Province Retirement Fund.

In Urmia, northwest Iran, nurses working in the city’s medical schools and universities are demanding their service paychecks that have been delayed for the past 11 months and five months of overtime pay. Other governments and private employees of these hospitals have not received their wages since November 2019.

These employees are saying they have filed many complaints to this day and circled back on their demands on numerous occasions. Regime officials have a long record of providing hollow promises that have led to no changes in the medical schools’ financial policymaking process and there have been no efforts to provide the long overdue paychecks to these employees.

On Wednesday, February 5, nurses in Hamedan, a city in western Iran, held a rally and protested officials’ measures. Dozens of these nurses attending this rally were demanding attention and measures in regard to their housing problems.