On Sunday, October 3, citizens from different walks of life took to the streets in 17 cities across Iran, according to the Iranian oppositions National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). Teachers and retirees staged organized rallies in various cities with similar slogans and demands, which show profound solidarity among these protesters.
Teachers Protest Officials’ Indifference Toward Their Livelihood Dilemmas
Hundreds of teachers held rallies in front of the provincial and local education departments in Isfahan, Shiraz, Ahvaz, Kerman, Bandar Abbas, Zanjan, and Darab. In the capital Tehran, they gathered in front of the Parliament (Majlis) and continued their protest despite the heavy presence of security forces and their threats.
Notably, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) had already warned teachers in an attempt to prevent any gatherings. However, defiant protesters gathered and shouted their desires, showing their determination for achieving their inherent rights.
“Teachers demand your rights,” “We do not want empty promises,” “Livelihood is our inalienable right,” and “Free education is the right of our children,” teachers chanted, calling on officials to pay appropriate attention to their dire living conditions.
In their protests, teachers demanded officials implement the ranking plan, which had already been passed by the Majlis to decrease teachers’ anger. According to the plan, officials should adjust teachers’ salaries based on their experience and working conditions.
“The government and parliament are obliged to approve this initiative. If this initiative is approved and implemented, the legal basis for teachers’ wage will be at least 80 percent of that of faculty members, because teachers and members of faculty boards should be receiving equal salaries,” the Iranian Teachers Coordination Council said in a statement at the beginning of the new school year.
However, officials have yet to implement the plan, prompting teachers to protest. “Implement your own laws,” one of the protesters said in front of the Majlis.
The government has placed teachers in an awkward position by maintaining their salaries at a low level. The poverty line in Iran is 120 million rials [about $437 per month]. Yet many teachers receive a fraction of this sum, the oppositions People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) reported.
Retirees Protest Officials’ Failure to Adjust Pensions with Inflation Rate
Retirees and pension recipients affiliated with the Social Security Organization held rallies in front of the organization’s provincial and local offices in Tehran, Mashhad, Tabriz, Khorramabad, Ahvaz, Isfahan, Qazvin, Arak, Borujerd, Kermanshah, Karaj, and Rasht.
Addressing the officials, retirees chanted slogans, venting their anger over the government’s failure to address their dilemmas and adjust their pensions with the skyrocketing rate of inflation.
“Be afraid, we are all united,” “Retirees will die, but they will not accept humiliation,” “Our plates are empty, enough of empty promises,” “Inflation and high prices are like a plague on people’s lives,” “Retirees are aware and hate discrimination,” and “Retirees’ demand is to be paid pensions commensurate with inflation,” retirees chanted.
Retirees of Steel Industry Protest Officials’ Failure to Increase Pensions
Furthermore, retirees affiliated with the steel industry once again rallied in front of the Retirees’ Fund in Ahvaz and Khuzestan. They blamed officials for failing to keep their promises and adjust retirees’ pensions with the inflation rate.
NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi hailed freedom-loving teachers and retirees, who have raised their voices for inherent rights in various cities across Iran.
For years, the mullahs have wasted the assets & properties of the greater majority of the Iranian people on suppression, wars, terrorism, and missile & nuclear programs. They have brought nothing to the people but oppression, discrimination, poverty, unemployment, and inflation.
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) October 3, 2021
“Resistance, uprising, and the overthrow of religious fascism is the only way to realize the rights of retirees, teachers, and workers. The mullahs have squandered the assets and properties of the vast majority of the Iranians on suppression, warmongering, terrorism, and missile and nuclear programs, and brought them only oppression, discrimination, poverty, unemployment, and inflation,” Mrs. Rajavi said.