Retirees and pensioners of the Social Security Organization held protests rallies in several cities across Iran on Monday, June 6, protesting low wages and pensions, insurance issues, and poor living conditions. Protests were reported in Kerman, Mashhad, Zanjan, Ahvaz, Kermanshah, Tabriz, Dezful, Shushtar, Rasht, Karaj, Qazvin, Shush, and Shiraz among others. The protest of the retirees, which occur regularly, are happening as Iran has seen two waves of intense anti-regime protests in the past month, caused by declining economic conditions, growing inflation, and skyrocketing prices of basic goods.
The retirees and Social Security Organization pensioners, continuing their gatherings from previous weeks, are calling for an increase in their pensions as an immediate measure to address their growing woes, while the entire economy continues to suffer from mismanagement, massive corruption, and the regime’s destructive policies.
In Karaj, the protesters were chanting “Death to Raisi!” and “High prices & inflation are killing the people!,” holding regime president Ebrahim Raisi accountable for the current economic conditions.
In Kerman, retired workers rallied outside the Kerman Provincial Office and blocked a road while chanting: “Incompetent minister, resign!”
In Tabriz, the protesters were shouting, “We will not give in to disgrace,” expressing their frustration and rage toward the government’s continued measures to shut down their voice through threats and repression. The protesters also chanted “Death to Raisi.”
After assuming office in August 2021, Raisi made bold promises to eradicate poverty and improve the economic situation of the country. Ten months into his presidency, prices of basic goods are skyrocketing, inflation is at a record high, and the price of the rial is continuing to nosedive.
In Kermanshah, protesters were holding signs that read, “Neither the government nor the Majlis (parliament) care about the people.”
The protesters were shouting, “The minister is a disgrace,” referring to Hojatollah Abdolmaleki, Raisi’s Labor Minister.
“This minister is a disgrace. We retirees owe nothing to anyone,” one of the protesters said. The crowd chanted, “Retirees will die but won’t give in to disgrace.”
Pensioners and retirees are among the worst-hit segments of society. They depend on government stipends to make ends meet, but the regime has refused to increase their pensions in correspondence with growing inflation and the depreciation of the national currency.
The government was supposed to increase pensions in the new Persian calendar year (starting in March). It was also supposed to settle unpaid pensions remaining from the previous year. So far, it has yet to deliver on both demands.
Interestingly, the regime’s own media reported that The Social Security Investment Company (SHASTA), the financial institution that is supposed to fund retirees, has seen a significant increase in its profits in the past year. However, these profits have yet to materialize in the lives of pensioners and retirees.
In recent weeks, the prices of flour, bread, milk, cooking oil, and other basic food items have increased several-fold. The regime has been making hollow promises to control inflation and prices but has failed to do so.
This has fueled protests in several cities, which have quickly turned into anti-regime rallies calling for the overthrow of the mullahs’ rule.
While pensioners, workers, drivers, teachers, and other social sectors are deprived of their most basic needs, the regime continues to fund its military and terror apparatus, funneling billions of dollars into the coffers of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and its terrorist proxies in the region and spending huge amounts on developing and testing ballistic missiles.