Teachers gathered in several cities across Iran on Tuesday to protest low pensions, poor living conditions, and the regime’s refusal to address their basic needs. Protests were reported in Tehran, Hamedan, Zanjan, Qom, Ardebil, Shiraz, Sanandaj, Shahrekord, and other cities.
In Tehran, the demonstration was held in front of the Majlis (parliament), and in other cities, the rallies took place in front of the local offices of the Welfare Organization.
The protesters were chanting, “We’ve heard too many promises and no justice,” “Rise retirees and fight discrimination,” “High prices and inflation are ruining people’s lives,” and “Imprisoned teachers must be freed.”
In Tehran, one of the teachers addressed regime officials and said, “We will take revenge for everything from the  revolution to today. We’ve given our best youth, our most dear youth, for our country to prosper, for our nation to become a real nation. You’ve destroyed everything. And now it’s your turn to be destroyed. [Majlis Speaker Mohammad Bagher] Ghalibaf, have some shame, let go of the Majlis.” She was cheered by other teachers, who repeated the chant, “Ghalibaf, have some shame and let go of the Majlis.”
The demonstrations are taking place against the backdrop of widespread protests by active teachers. In the past weeks, teachers have held several rounds of strikes in protests in more than 100 cities, protesting a parliament bill that fails to address their needs. Approved by the Majlis last week, the bill only allocates a fraction of the budget needed to improve the work and living conditions of hundreds of thousands of teachers across Iran.
According to the regime’s own experts, the “Teachers Ranking bill,” as the legislation is called, needs at least 600 trillion rials. The regime has approved 250 trillion rials, and it isn’t clear whether it has the capacity to fund the bill.
Hossein Arab Assadi, the deputy of the Employment Affairs Organization, said, “There’s no funding to implement the law in the current year and the government has no credit for the year 1400 [March 2021-March 2022].”
Majlis Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf had previously declared that the Majlis cannot change the 250 trillion-rial budget allocated to this plan per year.
Another legislation that is supposed to adjust the pensions of retired teachers based on inflation rates, increasing prices of goods, and depreciation of the national currency, has been constantly postponed by the Majlis.
Teachers have been continuously protesting in the past years. In response, the regime has been cracking down on teachers’ protests and has arrested several teachers’ rights activists.
It is worth noting that while the regime is faced with severe budget deficits and a tanking economy, it has no reservations to fund its malign activities.
According to the budget bill, the Revolutionary Guards will receive more than double the funds they were allocated in the previous year. Meanwhile, the state-run broadcasting corporation, the main core of the regime’s propaganda machine, has received a 50-percent boost to its budget. The judiciary, which is in charge of arresting and prosecuting protesters and dissidents, has also seen a rise in its funding.