More than 20 Iranian cities witnessed retirees protests for the third consecutive week on Sunday. These protests, coupled with by those of other walks of life, foretell an inevitable uprising.
During their protests on Sunday, retirees and pensioners, who are grappling with poverty due to their low wages, targeted the regime’s inaction and institutionalized corruption by chanting slogans such as, “We are outraged by so much injustice,” and “enough of oppression and injustice, our tables are empty.”
One of the protesters said: “This rally was a warning to let [the regime’s officials] know that we will not always gather here and stand and chant … next time it will not be like this.”
Retirees’ protest on Sunday marked their fifth nationwide protests in the last two months. These protests and their slogans are becoming more radical, targeting “the root of injustice.”
There have been dozens of protests across Iran in recent months. These protests are being held despite the coronavirus outbreak and the regime’s inhumane coronavirus policy to control the restive society.
The November 2019 Iran protests rattled the regime’s foundation, and the regime was only able to quell the society momentarily by killing 1500 protesters. Fearing another nationwide uprising, the regime embraced the entry of Covid-19 to Iran and used it, via inaction and cover-up, to avoid another uprising.
But now, poverty, unemployment, hunger and high prices have reached a point that “if we do not want to say the [uprisings] in November 2019 and January 2018 was the overflow of society tolerance threshold, now we are facing the same circumstances and the situation is getting worse daily,” according to Mohsen Hashemi, chairman of City Council of Tehran, on February 19.
A glance at part of the Iranian people’s problems, a byproduct of the regime’s mismanagement, and acknowledged by the state-run media, sheds more light on the society’s restiveness.
“People’s purchasing power has decreased, the value of the national currency has fallen, inequality has increased, the misery rate has increased since 2018, unemployment has gone up, the environment has worsened, and life has become more difficult for people,” wrote the state-run Setar-e Sobh daily on February 20.
“Liquidity in the first 10 months of this year has increased by 744 trillion tomans, which has increased one and a half times compared to the same month last year. This amount of liquidity in the Iranian economy is a very dangerous number,” wrote the state-run Vatan-e Emrooz daily on February 20.
“Point-to-point inflation of foodstuffs increased by 6 and 9 tenths of a percent compared to last month, reaching 66.8%,” wrote the state-run Kar-o Kargar daily on February 20.
Iranians from all walks of life identified the regime as the root of these problems in their protests on Sunday by chanting “our hands are empty, you are in a good situation.” This slogan shows that while Iranians are grappling with poverty, the regime’s officials are living a luxurious life.
They see how the regime’s officials “only represent one ruling class of embezzlers. A class that has already reached a high economic position due to governmental embezzlements,” according to the state-run Mostaghel daily on February 20.
The regime’s systematic plundering of the national wealth and institutionalized corruption is so striking that during their infightings, officials expose astronomical cases of embezzlement and corruption.
“1,500 trillion rials, equivalent to 70 billion dollars of the country’s capital, vanished in the stock market. A paper company with a capital of 200 billion Tomans and a figure of 3.200 trillion Tomans [on the stock exchange] was sold to the people. However, the company does not even have an office and its sold shares exist solely on paper,” MP Seyed Nasser Mousavi Largani said on February 2. The regime had encouraged people to buy stock exchange shares in last summer, which caused a bubble growth of Iran’s stock market exchange. This bubble recently burst and left many people ruined, and they poured onto the streets demanding their stolen money.
These protests and fact mentioned above are good examples of a restive society which is on the verge of explosion. These protests foretell an uprising much larger than the one in November 2019.
Now, “the disregard for the demands and livelihoods of the lower and marginalized classes has created deep crises, a clear example of which was the November 2019 protests,” according to state-run Mostaghel daily on February 2. This adds to the people’s hatred of the regime due to its inhumane coronavirus policy.
As the state-run Jahane-e Sanat wrote on Monday, “People’s previous resilience is gone,” and these people and this explosive society will erupt and topple the regime.