Iranian pensioners held protests outside the Social Security Organization offices in several cities on Sunday, including Ahvaz, Isfahan, Khorram Abad, and Shush.

They’ve been protesting for months over demands that have not been met, but they took a short break during the presidential election last month.

So, what are their demands? They want their pensions increased so that they can meet their basic needs, but also that their delayed payments are paid in full. The protests have become a major thing across Iran as their living conditions became worse.

The pensioners called for Social Security Organization head Mostafa Salari to resign, noting their frustration that officials have not addressed the issues raised and merely made broken promises. They want a change to the law that protects their rights.

They chanted:

  • “We will only get our rights in the streets”
  • “We’ve heard too many words, too little justice”

The Iranian Resistance wrote: “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 society. Under the current rates, most pensioners live under the poverty line.”

Interestingly and shockingly, this is in violation of the regime’s policy to adjust pensions based on inflation rates.

The 2020 census reported that there are some 18 million pensioners in Iran, who form part of the 96% of the population who live under the poverty line. Even the regime’s own statistics advise that over 75% of pensioners cannot afford the most basic goods, like food and shelter. This is because the average pension is 25 million rials per month even though some parts of the country have a poverty rate of 100 million rials after the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

Of course, the pensioners were far from the only Iranians protesting over the past week.

Residents in Tehran came out in force over the weekend to protest the power cuts that have been plaguing the city and others for days. Meanwhile, farmers in Isfahan protested water resources mismanagement that has caused problems in farmland irrigation, but they were met with violence by security forces.