Iran: widespread protests over water shortages, economic problems

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, July 18, 2021—People from different walks of life in Iran came to the streets on Sunday to protest unsolved economic problems and disastrous government policies that are making their lives hard. These protests took place in dozens of cities and across different segments of the society.

Under the rule of the mullahs, the Iranian people are faced with unemployment, skyrocketing prices, depreciation of the national currency, power blackouts, water shortages, and more. All of these and the government’s poor response have triggered ongoing and intensifying protests.

Pensioners hold rallies in several cities

On Sunday, retirees and pensioners held protest rallies in several cities across Iran, including Tehran, Ahvaz, and Isfahan. The rallies were held in front of the offices of the Social Security Organization in different cities.

In the past months, retirees have been regularly organizing protests in various cities. But regime officials refrain from addressing 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.

Continued strikes by workers of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane company

A group of workers from the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company in Shush, Khuzestan province, held the sixth day of their strikes and protests in front of the offices of the company’s management. Some of the protester, who work for the company’s pest control department, have been holding strikes and protests for 23 consecutive days.

The protesters are demanding the payment of overdue salaries, the return of their dismissed coworkers to the company, the renewal of the pest control workers, and the vaccination of the workers by the company.

The protesters also declared their solidarity with other people in Khuzestan who have been protesting water shortages in the past week.

Continued protests over water shortages in Khuzestan province

On Saturday night, protests over water shortages in Khuzestan province continued for the third consecutive day.

The protesters blocked roads in protest to the government’s destructive policies, which have left them thirsty in the middle of summer.

In Dasht-e Azadegan and Hoveizeh, the protesters held rallies in front of the offices of Majlis (parliament) members and protested the inaction of authorities toward their problems.

In Shush, protesters rallied in front of the governor’s office. They also blocked a transit road and stopped a procession of trucks. In Susangerd, massive protests continued despite the heavy presence of security forces. In several cities, protesters resisted the efforts of security forces to disperse the demonstrations.

According to reports obtained by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), security forces have so far killed three protesters. Mostafa Naimavi died of gunshot wounds in Shadegan on Friday after security forces opened fire on protesters in Shadegan. Naimavi was shot in the chest.

Ghassem Khaziri, 17, shot security forces in Kut Abdollah by security forces on Friday night, died of his wounds in the hospital on Saturday.

And on Sunday, security forces opened fire and killed Ali Mazraeh in Kuy Zaviyeh during protests over water shortages.

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