Unbridled inflation, high unemployment, and economic uncertainties that are all attributed to the Iranian regime, and suppression has forced the Iranian people, including Iranian pensioners to bring their anger to the streets of Tehran and other cities across the country.
Protests were reported in Tehran, Ahvaz, Shushtar, Abadan, Bandar Abbas, Zanjan, and other cities. Iranian pensioners have been holding regular protests as their living conditions continue to deteriorate because of the nosediving economic conditions, escalating inflation, and skyrocketing prices of food staples, including bread, milk, dairy products, eggs, poultry, and cooking oil.
Retirees took to the streets in many cities and towns across the country again to protest the meager rise in their pensions, which fails to compensate for the huge drop in their purchasing power given the inflation rate of over 40 percent. Retirees’ protests which began a few months ago have become more frequent recently. The current round of strikes and demonstrations began on Sunday, June 12, after Iran’s currency fell to a historic low of 333,000 rials to the US dollar.
Along with Iranian pensioners, small business owners have been at the forefront of strikes in recent days. There were protests on Saturday by retailers in Tehran and clashes with police. While the retirees and Social Security Organization pensioners previously held their demonstrations on a weekly basis, this is the first time they are rallying for several successive days. The protests are taking place despite heavy security measures by the regime and have continued for nearly two weeks.
In their slogans, retirees and pension recipients vent their anger at President Ebrahim Raisi. Less than a year ago, Raisi took office and gave bold promises about uprooting poverty and improving low-income classes’ livelihood. “Death to Raisi,” “death to the incompetent government,” “death to the deceitful government,” and “we fight, we die, but never give in to disgrace,” protesters chanted, expressing their fury against the regime’s failures and mismanagement.
In response to the people’s peaceful protests, authorities savagely cracked down on protesters and merchants. In Shiraz, in the southwestern Fars province, anti-riot forces attacked Iranian pensioners outside the office of the Supreme Leader’s representative Lotfollah Dezhkam and arrested several protesters. Shiraz Police chief Rahambakhsh Habibi was reportedly involved in the suppression.
In Isfahan, anti-riot forces fired teargas against pensioners, leading to respiratory disorders for several people. However, retirees resisted and continued the protests for their most fundamental rights.
The regime’s suppression once again proved that the mullahs have no solution for society’s needs and dilemmas. In this context, every socio-economic grievance rapidly turns into anti-regime demonstrations, targeting high-ranking officials like Khamenei and Raisi.