Iranian retirees held demonstrations Monday in several cities across the country to protest the meager rise in their pensions while the inflation rate is hovering over at over 40 percent.
The pensioners took to streets in the capitals of many provinces such as Tabriz, Gilan, and Kermanshah, while several cities across the southwestern oil-rich Khuzestan province, including Ahvaz, Dezful, Abadan, and Shushtar, were also scenes of similar protests.
The enraged protesters chanted slogans such as “Death to Raisi” and "Shame on you incompetent minister”, against the government and “empty promises” by authorities.
Retirees are demanding pension increases in par with rising prices of essential foods, saying that the current payments are not in line with decrees by the Supreme Labor Council, which had stipulated a 38-percent increase in the minimum wage.
The protests occurred as the government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi said in a tweet on Sunday that the minimum wage for retirees covered by the Social Security Organization has risen by 57 percent, calling it “one of the largest increases in 20 years and nearly 20 percent above the official inflation rate.”
With food prices rising faster after four years of United States’ ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions, Iranian workers and retirees and workers have been holding regular protests or strikes to demand higher salaries.
Moreover, the collapse of a ten-story Metropol building in Abadan in May has sparked anti-government rallies that have spread to other cities in the southwestern Khuzestan province and elsewhere.