Iran: Pensioners hold protest rallies in Ahvaz, Isfahan

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, October 16, 2021—Retirees and pensioners held protest rallies in Ahvaz and Isfahan cities across Iran on Sunday, protesting poor living conditions, low wages, and the regime’s lack of response to their demands.

In Ahvaz, the protesters gathered in front of the offices of Khuzestan Steel Retirement Fund.

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.

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, a group of users from the Cryptoland online market held a protest rally in front of the Majlis (parliament) in Tehran. The protesters are demanding the return of their stolen investments. The users of Cryptoland have been holding protests for several months, but authorities are refraining from taking action on their demands. Cryptoland had around 289,000 users, who have lost a collective $200 billion worth of savings in the online marketplace.

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