On Sunday morning, a dozen cities across Iran once again witnessed protests by all walks of life, plundered by the regime. These widespread protests show the society’s restiveness and an inevitable uprising.
Deprived retirees and pensioners held protests in at least 18 cities across Iran, including Tehran, Karaj, Nishapur, Shiraz, Ahvaz, Ilam, Khorramabad, Yazd, Isfahan, Arak, and other cities. They chanted slogans such as: “Oppression is enough, our table is empty,” “Answer the [reason of] high inflation, [regime’s President Hassan] Rouhani,” “We will not relent until we get our rights,” “Only on the street we will get our rights” and “poverty line is 12 million tomans, our salary is 3 million tomans.”
By chanting, “The enemy is right here (the regime), they lie when they claim it’s America,” the rising pensioners also rejected the propaganda of the regime and its apologists blaming sanctions for Iran’s economic sanctions. This slogan was among the slogans people chanted during the November 2019 uprising.
In front of the regime’s Parliament, the pensioners’ protest in Tehran was also joined by those who have lost their life savings during Iran’s stock market crisis and deprived teachers.
This is the fourth time retirees gather across Iran to demand their rights. While the price of the national currency, the rial, has lost more than 80% of its value in the past few years, pensions have not improved much, and the regime has not adjusted salaries based on the currency and inflation rates. Thus, most pensioners live under the poverty line.
The regime couldn’t prevent or oppress pensioners’ protests, although retirees had announced their plan to hold rallies on Sunday. The ongoing protests in Iran show a dramatic change in Iranian people’s conflict with the regime in the past forty years.
The holding of successive and pre-announced nationwide rallies now shows a new balance of power because people “have reached the end of the road,” according to Mohsen Esmaili, member of the regime’s Parliament on January 31. Thus, oppressive measures would result in more protests on the major Iran protests’ scale in November 2019.
Although the regime oppressed the November uprising by killing over 1500 protesters, those protests have turned into the regime’s nightmare, which still haunts mullahs. In few hours, protests, which had initially sparked after the sudden gasoline price-hike, spread across Iran, and people targeted the regime’s centers of oppression and plunder.
People chanted slogans such as “death to the dictator,” “down with Supreme Leader,” echoing their regime change desire.
The regime has been able to prevent another uprising by choosing an inhumane coronavirus policy. By systematic inaction and cover-up, the regime used the Covid-19 crisis to take mass casualties from people and use them as a barrier to another uprising.
But the coronavirus crisis has added to the people’s hatred toward the regime. As the state-run Arman daily wrote on December 26, the regime will have an “uncertain future during the pos-coronavirus crisis.”
The rising inflation and poverty rate, due to the regime’s mismanagement, has increased society’s restiveness in the last two years. Many of the regime’s media outlets and officials acknowledge a part of Iran’s economic crisis and warn one another of an upcoming uprising.
“In the current [Persian year] of 1399, many types of research show poverty line in Tehran [capital] has reached 10 million tomans, because the prices have been on the rise, and as a result, people’s purchasing power has declined, and they can no longer even meet their essential needs,” wrote the state-run Mardom Salarie on Sunday.
The state-run media also admit that people no longer believe the regime’s propaganda in depicting international sanctions as Iran’s only problem. “Even if the whole world becomes [the regime’s] ally even if all international sanctions are lifted, and we can export more oil than usual, the problems and challenges [of the regime] will remain,” wrote the state-run Jahan-e Sanat on Sunday. It also underlines that the root of current crises is the regime’s systematic corruption and “strategies,” which “has doubled the severity of Iran’s economic diseases.”
The increasing economic and social crises will result in an uprising much larger than the one in November 2019.
As Mardom Salarie daily warned on Sunday, “If the economic conditions do not change and continue to increase, we will see disorders in society, in not a pleasant way. This problem will transmit from to its core and damages the society’s core, and gradually this disorder and chaos will pervade all social classes.”
Another uprising is inevitable because the Iranian people know, as the opposition leader Mrs. Maryam Rajavi said on Sunday, that “So long as the clerical regime is in power, poverty, inflation, unemployment, and fraud will continue.”
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) February 14, 2021