In response to the Iranian regime’s plunder and suppression, Iranian citizens continue their protests, using any opportunity to vent their ire against the mullahs. In this context, workers, oil employees, medical staff, creditors, pensioners, nurses, actors and actresses, miners, and street-vendors raised their voices against injustice and discrimination.
According to reports tallied by the Iran News Update staff, Iranians from different walks of life held at least eight rallies and strikes on January 4. During their protests, citizens demanded officials respect their fundamental rights, pay their overdue wages, and spend the country’s assets on resolving their dilemmas rather than funding terrorist proxies and nuclear weapons projects.
Rally of HEPCO Workers
Markazi province—more than 50 employees and workers of Arak’s HEPCO company held a gathering at this facility. They protested the company’s managing board for inaction over their demands.
In recent years, HEPCO workers have frequently blamed government-linked managers for trampling their inherent rights. During their peaceful rallies, employees and workers demanded the regime officials support their protests. Instead, officials dispatched the State Security Forces (SSF) and brutally suppressed protesting workers.
The regime’s brutal crackdown on HEPCO workers is an instance of the mullahs’ cruelty. In this respect, the SSF and other oppressive apparatuses such as the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and its Basij Paramilitary Force do whatever they can to nip any objection in the bud. Not only HEPCO workers and their families, but the Iranian people would never forget the SSF’s crimes against defenseless workers in September 2019.
Khuzestan province—a group of nurses of Ahvaz medical centers and hospitals held a rally in front of the Provincial Governorate. The nurses protested discrimination, job insecurity, and unequal wages and pensions.
“Today, protesting nurses complained to officials about vast discrimination. They urged the Provincial Governorate and Khuzestan Medical Sciences University to follow their demands,” an eyewitness reported.
“Nurses said that ‘their salaries and pensions have decreased, and this rate has been continuing in recent months. Given the coronavirus outbreak, we have passed a tough situation in the past year,’” the source added.
Rally of Contract Medical Staff
Khuzestan province—contract personnel of Ahvaz Avay-e Salamat [Health Sound] held a rally in front of the Provincial Governorate. In their rally, protesters demanded officials recognize their basic rights and provide their demands.
Notably, Iran severely needs healthcare workers and the coronavirus bitter experience obviously showed the country lacks proper health infrastructure. For years, Iran has faced a shortage of nurses, and the regime should have recruited nurses to compensate for its shortage of human resources – a reality that even the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei bluntly admitted.
However, not only did the regime fail to recruit new forces, but it also left nurses and healthcare workers without any support. In other words, while these selfless people must focus on treating Covid-19 patients, they have to think about their economic dilemmas.
On the other hand, officials even refrain from hiring new forces officially and just recruit some people according to 87-day contracts. Finally, the regime fired these people after their contracts were expired. Moreover, the mullahs have failed to pay the salaries and arrears of tens of thousands of nurses. In such circumstances, Iran faces nurses’ emigration due to the regime’s horrible policies.
Rally of Nissan Zamyad’s Customers
Tehran province—on January 4, customers of Nissan Zamyad automobile held a gathering in front of the company’s bureau in Fath Highway. Notably, Saipa automaker company is the Nissan Zamyad producer. This company is one of the IRGC’s subsidiaries.
In the past week, many car customers held rallies in Tehran, protesting these companies’ profiteering policies. For instance, on December 29, Shahin Car’s customers rallied in front of the Iran Consumer and Producer Protection Organization (CPPO) for the third time.
“With 800 million rials [$3,200], we registered for a car that was supposed to be worth 1.6 billion rials [$6,400]. Currently, they say its price is 2.7 billion rials [$10,800]” said a protester, adding, “Twice we have gathered in front of the Competition Organization, but we have received no answer.”
Rally of Nissan Haima Automobile’s Customers
Tehran province—registered customers of Haima Automobile held a rally in front of the judiciary in Keshavarz Boulevard. They protested increasing prices, non-delivery of the cars, and the company’s failure to provide clients’ demands. “We would not give in until we gain our rights,” read handwritten banners carried by protesters.
Notably, due to the IRGC’s interference in the automobile industry, Iran’s manufacturers have faced enormous dilemmas. On one hand, the IRGC intends to spend this industry’s privileges on its terrorist and aggressive proposes. On the other hand, the IRGC and its subsidiaries have been sanctioned due to its malign conducts in the Middle East and around the world.
In such circumstances, the fate of Iran’s automobile industry is unclear, and in practice, many people, who had previously registered for cars, have lost their meager properties and more importantly their trust.
In this context, the regime tried to ease public hatred by prosecuting Iran’s ‘Automobile Sultan’ and sentencing him to death. However, this action has not resolved customers’ dilemmas and simply widened the gap between the state and society.
Locals Protest Lack of Water and Electricity
Qazvin province—local people of Azimieh town staged a rally, protesting the lack of water and electricity in around 330 hectares of these lands.
“Contractors in Azimieh received massive sums from citizens to provide infrastructures and urban services. However, they left the town without any facilities,” protesters said.
Rally of Contract Medical Staff
Yazd province—for the second consecutive day, contract medical forces of Yazd Health Center held a rally to achieve their demands. In this respect, they gathered and launched a strike in front of the bureau of the representative of Ashkzar and Yazd jurisdiction in the Parliament (Majlis).
They blamed officials for their unkept promises and announced their support of medical staff. They expressed their anger about systematic discrimination and the flagrant gap in wages and salaries.
Farmers Protest Transferring Zayandehroud River
Isfahan province—a group of farmers, held a rally, protesting officials for transferring the water of Zayandehroud River. Zayandehroud is the main river in the area, and the lives of many residents, particularly farmers, depend on this river. In recent years, due to the IRGC’s non-standard dam-building projects, the level of Zayandehroud water has dramatically downed.
“No one can invade Zayandehroud. We devote our blood for every drop of this river. We do not let you extract Zayandehroud water, and we no longer listen to anyone,” said a farmer.
“Mr. [Energy Minister Reza] Ardakanian, Mr. [Vice-President Eshaq] Jahangiri, Mr. [President Hassan] Rouhani, and Mr. Governor [Abbas Rezaei], you should know that we pay our blood for each drop of Zayandehroud water. We would not give in and would not allow. We resist until the end,” the farmer added.
Another protester addressed the regime’s officials, saying, “Mr. Ardakanian, Jahanagiri, and Rouhani, your time is over, and please let go of our Zayandehroud. It is enough. You have transferred Zayandehroud water everywhere, but we, the people of Isfahan, do not have water.”