Iran: Protests by retirees, dairy farmers in several cities

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, June 27, 2021—On Sunday, retirees and pensioners held protest rallies in several cities across Iran, including Tehran and Ahvaz. In Tehran, the rally was held in front of the offices of the Social Security Organization. After a short hiatus during the sham presidential election, the pensioners are back in the streets to claim their demands.

In the past months, retirees have been regularly organizing protests in various cities. But regime officials refuse to answer the pensioners’ demands. The protesters complain that their meager pensions are not nearly enough to cover their most basic expenses and are often delayed for several months. Sunday protests by pensioners have become a regular scene across Iran as the living conditions of this deprived segment of the society continue to become worse.

The decline in Iran’s economy, spurred by government corruption and destructive policies, has plunged the lives of many pensioners and retired government workers into utter poverty. The rial, Iran’s national currency, has seen a huge dip in the past few years, losing more than 80 percent of its value. This has caused a spike in the prices of basic goods. Meanwhile, pensions and salaries have not been adjusted to this fundamental shift in the economical dynamics of the society. Under the current rates, most pensioners live under the poverty line.

This is against the government’s own policies to adjust pensions based on changes in inflation rates. According to a 2020 census, there are 18 million pensioners in Iran. These are part of Iran’s impoverished masses, who account for 96 percent of the population and live under the poverty line. According to the regime’s own statistics, more than 75 percent of pensioners are struggling to procure their needs.

Pensioners receive on average 25 million rials per month while the poverty line in some parts of Iran has reached 100 million rials in the past year.

At the same time, dairy farmers in several cities held rallies, protesting the government’s destructive economic policies. The protests were held in Yazd, Shiraz, Hamedan, Isfahan, Mashhad, and several other cities.

The protesters are protesting restrictions placed on the price of milk by the Rouhani government. The government has let the price of livestock feed to grow unabated while imposing limits on the price of milk, making it difficult for the dairy farmers to run their operations and make a living.

The farmers are demanding the government to provide a solution to the current situation. In Shiraz, the protesters were chanting “Death to Rouhani.”

In Mashhad, the protesters were chanting, “Dairy farmers are broke, they can’t do anything.”

In Yazd, the farmers were saying that a liter of milk costs 70,000 rials to produce, but they’re forced to sell it at 44,000 rials.

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