Iranian pensioners held nationwide demonstrations on Saturday, and chanted slogans against the Islamic Republic’s authorities.
Similar to previous rounds of protests, which have become more frequent on the backdrop of economic hardship, pensioners called on the government to increase pensions by 38 percent, as stipulated by the Supreme Labor Council. Retirees are demanding pension increases more on par with rising prices of essential foods, saying that the current payments are not in line with decrees by the Council.
According to videos published on social media, about 20 cities across the country, including capital Tehran, Kerman, Ardabil, Esfahan, Rasht, Mashhad, Tabriz, Khorramshahr and Ahvaz, were the scene of large protest rallies.
The retirees gathered in front of the governorate buildings or the provincial offices of the Social Security Organization, which is in charge of paying pensions.
They chanted slogans against President Ebrahim Raisi and Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf such as “Death to Raisi” and “Death to Ghalibaf” as well as other insults about the clergy, whom many people blame for the dire situation in the country.
With food prices rising faster after four years of United States’ ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions, Iranian workers and retirees have been holding regular protests or strikes to demand higher salaries. Last month, Iran’s currency fell to a historic low of 333,000 rials to the US dollar in June.
During the past weeks, widespread protests by workers,shop owners, and teachers protesting against poverty, inflation, and low wages, have been met with heavy-handed crackdown and numerous arrests by the security forces.