Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, Oct. 12, 2018 - The Iranian regime is facing yet another round of strikes launched by the country’s truck drivers, sweeping through over 320 cities across all 31 provinces.
Authorities continue to provide hollow promises, aiming to merely lure the drivers into ending their strike. Hundreds of the protesting drivers have been arrested up to this day.
Senior Iranian regime officials, including the chief prosecutor general, have raised the tone significantly.
“According to the information we have, in some routes, some of the cities, there are elements who are provoking some of the truckers, or possibly blocking them and creating problems for them,” he said on September 29th.
Around 240 protesting truckers have been arrested, facing charges that could lead them to the gallows based on the Iranian regime’s so-called constitution.
“Those provoked by the enemy to disrupt the transport system should be reminded that a heavy punishment is waiting for the troublemakers… All the prosecutors across the country have been called up to detain disrupters with the help of security forces without hesitation,” said Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei, spokesman of the regime’s so-called judiciary on September 30th.
Colonel Kavos Mohammadi, a police deputy of Fars Province in southern Iran, described the protesting truck drivers as “disrupters of order.”
“Following the disrupting acts of some of these people on the roads of Fars ... After the visible and invisible patrol of officers, 22 thugs and disrupters of public order on the roads were arrested and, after filing a case, they were sent to the judiciary authorities and eventually to prison. Police will deal with sensitivity and vigilance in response to even the smallest insecurity factors in coordination with the judiciary, and the process of confronting with the disrupters of order and security of the roads and axes of Fars Province will continue on a daily basis. The police monitor and control all the roads in this province, visibly and invisibly, and resolutely deal with all elements of disrupters of order and security in these areas,” he said.
The protesting truck drivers are seeking changes, including:
-Lower prices for spare parts and tires
-Base charges according to “tons per kilometer”
-Restructuring the truckers’ guild through free elections;
-A decrease in truck prices;
-35 percent increase in transfer rates; increasing retirement pensions, especially considering skyrocketing inflation and prices.
The truckers’ protests are receiving enormous support from across the board in Iran.
The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (SWTSBC); Haft Tapeh Sugar Refinery Workers Syndicate and teachers are supporting the strikes.
The American Teamsters Union, being the largest in North America, has placed its weight behind its Iranian colleagues, marking the second time this year the Union has supported the protesting drivers in Iran.
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has also expressed its concern over the Iranian regime’s reactions in this regard.
“The ITF is extremely concerned that news emerging from Iran has detailed a large number of driver arrests,” the statement reads.
“Most seriously, the ITF understands that Iran’s attorney general, Mohammad Jaafar Montazeri, has suggested that those who initiated the protest actions will be subject to the death penalty, citing a threat to national security. His comments have been echoed by other clerics.”