From April 14 and 18, citizens in Iran staged at least 59 rallies and protests in various cities, venting their anger over the government’s plundering and profiteering policies. On April 14 and 18, retirees and pensioners affiliated with the Social Security Organization staged countrywide protests in at least 40 cities.

They declared their disappointment about both government factions and vowed to boycott the upcoming Presidential election in June. Notably, the intelligence and security apparatuses had tried to disperse protests by threatening messages, but they failed.

Meanwhile, enraged people took to the streets in different provinces blaming officials for oppression and mismanagement creating enormous dilemmas for citizens.

Countrywide Protests of Retirees

April 18 Rallies and Marches in 17 Cities

For the second time in four days, retirees, pensioners, and welfare recipients affiliated with the Social Security Organization rallied in at least 17 cities in different provinces.

“On Sunday, April 18, 2021, for the thirteenth week running in the past three months, retirees and pensioners protested against the dire living conditions, high prices, and low wages in Tehran and 16 other cities and called for a boycott of the regime’s sham elections,” stated the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

According to eyewitnesses and local reports, the presence of women was significant during the protests. To prevent protests, intelligence and security agencies had sent threatening messages to retirees and pensioners. However, enraged retirees did not care about the government’s threats and once again took to the streets.

They vented their anger over officials’ hollow promises, announcing the boycott of the upcoming Presidential election in June. “We will no longer vote because we have not seen any justice” and “Only by taking to the street we can obtain our rights,” chanted protesters the slogans declaring their disappointment about both government’s factions.

“Parliament, government enough lying to the nation,” “The government betrays us, the parliament supports them,” “We will not rest until we obtain our rights,” and “Unity is the key to our victory,” retirees also chanted.

April 14 Rallies and Marches in 23 Cities

Earlier, on Wednesday, April 14, retirees and pensioners staged enormous rallies in at least 23 cities in 19 provinces. At the time, enraged protesters had rallied in Tehran, Karaj, Khorramabad, Arak, Mashhad, Ilam, Neyshabur, Kerman, Yazd, Qazvin, Kermanshah, Tabriz, Ahvaz, Bojnurd, Rasht, Behshahr, Shush, Shooshtar, Borujerd, Isfahan, Ardabil, Maku, and Shahroud in front of the Social Security Organization’s local offices, according to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

“Protesting the regime’s corrupt economic policies, resulting in nothing but devastating poverty and deprivation for tens of millions across Iran, the protesters chanted, ‘We will not vote anymore. We’ve heard too many lies,’ ‘We want pensions adjusted for inflation rates,’ ‘We will only restore our rights by coming to the streets,’ and ‘We will die but we will not back down from our rights,’” PMOI/MEK official website reported.

Rally of Literacy Movement Teachers

Ardabil province—on Saturday, April 17, teachers affiliated with the literacy movement staged a gathering in front of the local education department.

They protested the department’s refusal to recruit them despite their ten-year experience. They have already succeeded in an exam held by the department, but the officials still refuse to hire them.

Rally of Maskan Mehr Members

Khuzestan province—members of the housing institution of Mina Maskan Mehr project in Masjed Soleiman city held a rally in front of the local Governorate.

The project had started in 2006, however, the institution has failed to complete the project and deliver people’s houses. Following their constant appeals from different offices, the people gathered in front of the governorate, expressing their rage and disappointment over officials’ function.

Rally of Merchants

Chahrmahal & Bakhtiari province—on Saturday, April 17, merchants of Shahrekord city staged a gathering, protesting decisions made by the Provincial Covid-19 Task Force.

They reckoned that the Task Force’s decisions have placed them on the verge of financial collapse and made massive disadvantages for them while the municipality still insists on taxes.

Rally of IKCO Shareholders

Tehran province—shareholders of the Iran Khodro automaking company (IKCO) held a rally, protesting the employers’ mismanagement and considerable disadvantages. They face an 80-percent disadvantage due to employers’ fraud and failures.

“Parliament, government, competition assembly, and industry ministry, stop hostage-taking the automating and auto parts industries. Don’t fill fixers’ pockets anymore,” protesters had written on a banner.

Strike of Oil Workers

Bushehr province—on Saturday, April 17, oil workers and employees affiliated with the Liduma company launched a strike, protesting employers’ failure to pay their wages.

They are working in Phase 13 of the South Pars project in Bandar Kangan. Despite the increasing inflation rate and backbreaking prices, employers refrain from adjusting workers’ wages according to the inflation rate, bringing numerous economic dilemmas to the workers and their families.

Rally of Municipal Workers

Khuzestan province—on Saturday, April 17, municipal workers in Khorramshahr city once again held a rally in front of the local Governorate. They protested officials’ failure to pay their overdue salaries.

The workers announced that they have yet to receive their salaries completely for seven months. The municipality has also refused to pay workers’ Nowruz bonuses on the occasion of the new year in the Persian calendar.

Protest Against the Water Mafia

Chahrmahal & Bakhtiari province—on Saturday, April 17, protesting the water mafia, residents of Shahrekord staged a human chain from Qamar Banihashem Square to Farrokhshahr district.

They protested officials for digging and establishing a tunnel in the Beheshtabad region, which has destroyed nature and their businesses.

Rally of College-graduated Teachers

Tehran province—on Saturday, April 17, college-graduated teachers from the provinces of Semnan and Fars in front of the Supreme Court. They protested officials’ refusal to pay their salaries based on experience.

“Raise your voice teachers to take your rights” and “We do not succumb to oppress, we obtain our rights,” enraged protesters chanted.

“I am a teacher. I did not leave my class and house for nothing. I came here to practically teach my students and children that, ‘Our rights should be given to us,’” a teacher had written on a banner.

Protest of Gas-station Owners

Isfahan province—on Friday, April 16, gas-station owners protested low-quality and excessive-evaporation fuels provided by the local refinery. They blamed the refinery’s managers for refusing to respond. Protesters believe that they face massive disadvantages due to evaporating of fuels.

“Have you ever known that not only did the disadvantages of low-quality fuels break the gas-station owners’ back, but they had increased the cars’ consumption and the air pollution,” protesters had written on their banners.

Rally of Farmers

Isfahan province—on Friday, April 16, farmers from eastern parts of the province staged a gathering, venting their anger over officials’ indifference about their water shortage dilemma.

They declared their determination for breaking the pipeline to Yazd province. Notably, while farmers face severe drought, the government transfers water to other provinces like Yazd and Chahrmahal & Bakhtiari, rather than resolving the other areas through other resources in the same regions.

Protest of Onion Farmers in Hormozgan and Kerman

Hormozgan province—on Thursday, April 15, protesting officials’ failure to purchase their products, onion farmers in the Hashtbandi district left their production.

“There are a lot of onions. Everyone who wants onions can come here and take how ever many they want with a van, truck, trailer, etc. There are around 1,000 trailers of onions,” said a citizen in a video posted on social media.

Kerman province—on Wednesday, April 14, an onion farmer from Jiroft explained farmers’ dilemmas, which have forced them to sell their products at a very low price to the government. “In the south of Kerman province, they have purchased onions for 5,960 rials [$0.02] per kilogram. The onions are becoming destroyed, and poor farmers cannot even pay the water cost with $0.02,” said the farmer.

“God damn provincial officials for their indifference toward the southern parts of Kerman. Would you let it go if there were pistachios? Six days ago, the northern parts of the province were hit by a cold wave. The chief of central insurance visited gardens on the next day at 9:00 am, and they broadcasted its film, why? Because a family that has been replaced by a monarchic family reigns over the pistachio exports,” the protester added.

“The people of the south of Kerman are oppressed, they have no tribune, no media, no broadcasting organization, and no someone to defend them. The south of Kerman is alone, the second Saravan—referring to fuel porters’ protest in February—is on the horizon. Why do you turn a blind eye to our dilemmas?” he said.

“You just tell the people to take part in the Presidential election. How is it possible that the people, who have to endure the expense of your mismanagement, take part in the election? Whenever we speak, you say that we are disrupting public opinion and inciting the people against the Islamic Republic. God damn you because you just think about your kingdom. You do not care about deprived people, and you have destroyed the people’s life in the south of Kerman with your imprudence, incompetence, and making the people disappointed,” the farmer ended.

Rally of Stockholders

Tehran province—on Wednesday, April 14, plundered stockholders held a rally in front of the Bourse and Stock Exchange Chamber in the Saadat Abad district. They protested vast corruption in the Tehran Stock Market’s managing board and the malign interference of state-backed mafia under the banner of legal firms in decisions.

Following corruption and unreasonable interference, stockholders face sharp declines in stock values in recent months. In their latest protest, enraged protesters hoisted down the Bourse flag as a sign of their anger.

To evade responsibility, high-ranking officials lay the blame on each other, while in November 2019, the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei frankly encouraged the people to purchase stocks, saying, “The people must invest in domestic aspects like the bourse.” Later, in April 2020, President Hassan Rouhani warned citizens about investing in coin and gold, saying, “The Stock Market and Oil sector are the places for investment.”

Locals Protest State-backed Miners

West Azarbaijan province—on Wednesday, April 14, local people of Bolqoun Aqaj village, in the Takab district, clashed with state-backed miners. They protested workers of Papagh Ghala mine and prevented them from entering new equipment and heavy machinery in this region.

Papagh Ghala is an ancient district with a 3,000-year history. In 2006, this district was registered as one of the country’s national monuments. Miners, however, continued their works despite a sign of the Cultural Heritage Office warning about any invasion to this site. “Any kind of monopolization, destruction, and invasion to the ancient site is considered an offense and would be pursuit based on the article 75 of the Penal Code,” read the sign.

Rally of Pharmacists in Five Cities

On Wednesday, April 14, pharmacists held rallies in the cities of Rasht, Mashhad, Isfahan, Shiraz, and Tehran. In the capital Tehran, pharmacists staged their rally in front of the Parliament (Majlis).

They declared their disappointment about the state-backed pharmacist association, writing on a banner, “Iran’s pharmacists’ association is incompetent.”

Iranians Continue Protests; at Least 37 Rallies and Strikes from April 8 to 11