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Nurses Protest Across Iran Against Mistreatment by the Regime amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Nurses Protest Across Iran Against Mistreatment by the Regime amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Nurses in Mashhad(Right) and Gilan province(Left) staged protests gathering against extreme pressures, terrible living conditions, and overdue wages

Iran is perhaps the only country in the world where, during the COVID-19 pandemic, medical professionals, who are on the frontline of the fight against the virus, are mistreated by the regime. The regime delays in paying Iranian nurses paychecks and has not improved their working conditions. Reports from Iran indicate there have been various protests by the nurses across Iran against the regime’s mistreatments. Yet instead of answering their demands, the regime’s security forces resort to cruelty and suppression.  

Nurses in Mashhad staged a protest gathering against extreme pressures, terrible living conditions, and overdue wages. In response, the regime’s security forces attacked them with batons and tasers and arrested several of them.

Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), hailed the protesting nurses who were attacked with batons and tasers in Mashhad.
Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), praised all physicians, nurses, and medical personnel who risk their own lives.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), hailed the protesting nurses who were attacked with batons and tasers in Mashhad. She also praised all physicians, nurses, and medical personnel who risk their own lives and those of their family members to save the lives of those who are ill. 

In another development on Monday, nurses in Gilan province, northern Iran, rallied in Parastar Avenue located in the city of Rasht, outside the head office of the Gilan Medical Sciences University, protesting university officials’ refusal to fulfill their promises regarding their job statuses. 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Iranian medical professionals, particularly nurses, have tirelessly helped victims. Many of them have lost their lives in fighting the coronavirus. The regime’s inaction and cover-up, which has resulted in over 64,000 COVID-19 deaths across Iran, is not limited to the general population. Many nurses and doctors were fired for telling the truth about the true extent of the crisis.  

In addition to risking their lives, Iranian medical staff are facing enormous work pressure.  Yet the regime does not pay anything to improve their situation, and it is delaying in paying their salaries. While there are many nurses prepared to work, who’s hiring could boost the exhausted and worn out treatment system, the regime refuses to hire them and only signs 89-day contracts with them so that they would not be eligible for insurance and unemployment benefits 

The regime refuses to pay nurses and other medical staff and blames the international sanctions. But information from within the regime shows while the COVID-19 continues to ravage Iranian people’s lives, the regime continues to fund its proxy terrorist groups to implement the regime’s warmongering policies such as propping up Syrian dictator Bashar-al Assad 

In an interview with the state-run Ofogh Television Network in April, Parviz Fattah, the current head of the Foundation for the Underprivileged (Mostazafan Foundation), acknowledged he has used the vast resources of this foundation to pay terrorist proxy groups. “I was at the IRGC Cooperative Foundation. Haj Qassem [the eliminated commander of the Revolutionary Guards Quds Force Qassem Soleimani] came and told me he did not have money to pay the salaries of the Fatemiyoun [Afghan mercenaries]. He said that these are our Afghan brothers, and he asked for help from people like us. 

Based on the information released by the U.S. Representative Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in July 2016, the salary of the regime’s terrorist forces in Syria was up to $1,000 per month. The IRGC’s non-Syrian mercenaries’ salaries in Syria alone amounted to about $70 million a month. Meanwhile, the nurses in Iran, have an average salary of three million tomans, which now equals to $145 per month, yet the regime refuses to pay them.  Therefore, the $145 monthly salary of an Iranian nurse is less than a fifth of the $1,000 salary of IRGC mercenaries in Syria. 

In this regard, Maryam Hazrati, Deputy Minister of Nursing of the Ministry of Health, referring to the amount of nurses’ salaries in February 2019, said: “In the private sector, nurses’ salaries were 1.5 million tomans plus performance reward; in the public sector, 2.5 million tomans plus performance reward; and the average performance reward was a maximum of 800,000 tomans.” 

Explosion at a medical center in Tehran 

On June 30, there was an explosion at the Sina Athar Clinic, located in Shariati Avenue in northern Tehran. Nineteen people, including medical staff of the clinic, were killed. If this was truly an incident caused by, for instance, old aged equipment and facilities, the regime should be held to account. Because instead of helping the Iranian people, in this case renovating this old medical facility, the regime has been plundering the national wealth for pursuing its illicit activities such as the nuclear program and funding terrorism.

As long as this regime is in power, the situation of all the Iranian people will not improve. As Mrs. Rajavi said: Four decades of plundering and squandering the Iranian people’s wealth on the unpatriotic nuclear and missile programs, as well as terrorism and warmongering had destroyed the country’s infrastructure. Despite the presence of the most skilled and selfless physicians and nurses, the regime has left our people defenseless in combating this virus. The only way to end poverty, corruption, unemployment, and disease is the overthrow of the clerical regime and the establishment of democracy and people’s sovereignty. 

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