Injured veterans of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war gathered in Tehran on Saturday to protest financial hardship and demand regular pension payments from the government.
The Islamic Republic upholds the eight-year war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq as a symbol of its success and the religious devotion of Iranians, while many veterans live in poverty and complain of being ignored by a large government bureaucracy formed to serve them.
A video published on social media and some websites in Iran show hundreds of injured veterans protesting outside the Foundation for Martyrs and Veterans protesting for the late payment of their pensions. A speaker is heard asking the head of the Foundation, a government department, to resign if he cannot do his job.
The speaker also referred to powerful groups who present themselves as veterans and receive all sorts of government privileges, including business opportunities. Protesters were holding a banner that said, “It is enough to build power for yourselves on the bones of the martyrs”.
Many of the current leaders of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) have reached high ranks and status because they served in the Iran-Iraq war.