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Protests reported in Tehran & other cities across Iran

Municipality workers holding a protest rally in the Sixth District of Ahvaz in southwest Iran
Municipality workers holding a protest rally in the Sixth District of Ahvaz in southwest Iran

Reporting by PMOI/MEK  

Iran, April 28, 2020—People from all walks of life are reported to be holding protest rallies in numerous cities throughout Iran despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic crisis.

In Tehran, a group of drivers of the regime’s Khomeini International Airport parked their vehicles and held rallies outside the leasing company and the bank that provided the loans for their vehicles, demanding their monthly lease payments be postponed due to the current recession in the country’s airports and the decreasing number of flights and air travels.

It is worth noting that the drivers in this airport are not supported by the taxi drivers’ company and are under the supervision of the Road & Construction Ministry. They do not enjoy unemployment insurance, special fuel rations, or other such privileges provided for other similar workers.

In the city of Karaj, located west of Tehran, a group of retired Khomeini Hospital personnel held a gathering on Sunday outside the hospital and the office of the Alborz Province Municipalities Solidarity Organization. These pensioners are protesting not receiving their retirement pensions and not receiving their insurance pensions for the last five months of their work.

On Sunday, April 26, a group of municipality workers of the Sixth District in Ahvaz, southwest Iran, held a rally protesting not receiving their monthly paychecks and insurance pensions. “We have not been paid or received our pensions since February,” one worker said. “Some workers have been summoned by authorities and we have been accused of provoking other workers to hold gatherings and protest rallies. They constantly resort to crackdown measures instead of paying our salaries and answering our questions,” he added.

In Ardabil, northwest Iran, one local said the following on Sunday, April 26: “The government provided a loan during the coronavirus pandemic and yet now we’re facing a major crisis because everything is far more expensive now… Even the license provided for my vehicle must be renewed, again. They’re demanding fees for internet service in our kids’ schools, their supplies, etc. The monthly rent for the store, the mortgage, both have risen, and all the while we are experiencing a bear market and we have no income. What else should I tell you? There’s not a single official willing to listen to these troubles. Name me one official who understands the people’s pains. They said they won’t return any checks, but they did. They said we won’t be demanding lease payments, but again they did. They said the price of bread won’t rise, but it did. They said food prices won’t rise, but it did. Show me one official who comes and listens to the people’s problems, and actually takes some action. Not just deliver a speech, no. Just listen to the people. We have thousands of problems, lets see if you can fix just one. Not in the interest of the government. Let’s see if even one official who cares just a bit about the people or not. Just one official. Is there one such official in this entire country? Let’s see.”

Workers of the municipality complex in Lushan of Gilan Province, northern Iran, have not been provided their insurance pensions for the past nine months. One of these workers said on Sunday, April 26, that a group of his colleagues realized this after seeking medical care at a local center, according to the state-run ILNA news agency. The employers have said their insurance payments have been postponed due to financial issues and lack of liquidity, according to one of the protesting workers. Many of these workers have also not received their paychecks for the past six months, this worker added.

In Nowshahr, northern Iran, street vendors held a rally outside the City Council building protesting the authorities’ latest measures of rounding up their goods. “… Demand your rights today. If you don’t, it will be all gone. They have to answer to us now… I have been selling goods here for 30 years. They either give us a job or we will stay here,” said one protesting worker.

On Saturday, April 25, unemployed youths in the town of Hor near the city of Shush in Khuzestan Province, southwest Iran, blocked the city entrance for the fourth consecutive day. They are protesting the practice of hiring non-local workers at lower wages by the officials of the sugarcane complex.