Iran’s domestic unrest is escalating.
Thousands of angry teachers in more than 22 cities held protests in Iran on Thursday, March 9. The demonstrations took place in Tehran, Mashhad, Bojnourd, Ferdows, Torbat-heidaria, Mazandaran, Sanandaj, Saqqez, Marivan, Qorveh, Tabriz, Ardebil, Zanjan, Shiraz, Bushehr, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Kangan, Dehgolan, Lordegan, Ahwaz and Aligudarz.
According to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) roundup report of February 2017 on the teachers' protests, there were 13 protests classified as cultural. Statistics for the month showed a slight increase from January.
A lack of salary increases, as well as the lack equalization of retirement wages and lack of formal employment,were among the protests. Also, a group of teachers published a text about the prosecution of Jafar Azim Zadeh. Teachers who retired in 2016 demanded their 30-year employment bonus.
According to an Iranian Opposition (MEK) report, more than 1,000 teachers, as well as families of political prisoners, and staff from the Ministry of Education, demonstrated in front of the Iranian regime’s parliament in Tehran, demanding proper jobs and security.
The protesting teachers sat at a table empty of food, in a symbol of their poor economic condition in Shiraz. Many are severely suffering, saying they are unable to feed themselves or their children with their meager wages. They had placards that read: 'Teachers must rise to end the discrimination and a petty monthly salary.'
Special anti-riot guards surrounded the protesting teachers in some cities, but the protestors ignored them and continued with their protest. Passersby hailed the protestors and paid tribute to them as they signaled their hatred of the regime.
However, security forces prevented any passerby from stopping.
Teachers in Sanandaj demanded an end to torture and executions under the regime.
Remarkably, female teachers were present in the streets of Kermanshah, in southwestern Iran. Security forces tried to suppress the demonstration but were unable to stop it. Protestors condemned the exiles and expulsions of teachers for teaching and speaking out, and demanded the freedom of teachers, especially the freedom of Mr. Baghani who is a known teacher in Kermanshah.
In Ardebil, northwestern Iran, the protesting teachers chanted, 'Teachers are willing to die but not to submit to discrimination.’ They demanded unpaid wages and benefits.
Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, in her last statement regarding the teachers' protest “hailed the noble teachers who have staged protest gatherings in various parts of the country to attain their lawful rights and to protest the oppressive and criminal measures by the mullahs’ regime.” She called on the nation, especially the students and their parents and the youth throughout the country to support and express solidarity with teachers. Mrs. Rajavi said, “In circumstances where the clerical regime spends most of the Iranian people’s wealth on suppression, export of terrorism, the massacre of peoples in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon, the bottomless and anti-patriotic nuclear projects, or which funnels this wealth to the bank accounts of regime’s leaders and their families, the hard-working and noble teachers of the country that play the greatest role in building the future of Iran are living in poverty and face the most hardship in their lives.”