On January 18, the Iranian people continued their protests in four different provinces, condemning officials for failing to keep their promises. Retirees and employees affiliated with the South Oil Industry, farmers from eastern Isfahan, Water Organization staff, and junior teachers took part in the protests.

Protesters vented their anger at the regime’s indifference about their dilemmas. In Isfahan, outraged people questioned local and high-ranking officials about their plundering policies, which have brought poverty and misery to farmers and their families. “[Come] open fire on us and revoke our ID cards,” said an impoverished farmer sarcastically in response to the police’s disgusting behavior.

Furthermore, citizens, who had invested their properties in Tehran Stock Market, held a rally in front of the Bourse building due to the unprecedented drop in the stock index. Protesters were chanting slogans that “Death to [President Hassan] Rouhani” and “Death to the economic criminal.”

Rally of Oil Industry Retirees
Rally of Oil Industry Retirees

Rally of Oil Industry Retirees

Khuzestan province—a group of retirees and employees affiliated with the South Oil Industry held a rally in front of the Provincial Roads and Urban Developments Office. They protested officials for failing to hand over their houses after ten years.

One decade ago, the Oil Industry launched a project called the 2000-unit Maskan Mehr. Many oil sector workers invested their savings, hoping to obtain a proper house due to their services in the country’s oil fields. However, the regime refuses to deliver their rights, and the fate of the employees’ money is unclear.

Rally of Farmers
Rally of Farmers

Rally of Farmers

Isfahan province—farmers of eastern Isfahan city along with their family members held a rally in front of the Provincial Governorate. They demanded officials resolve their dilemmas about water shortage and respect their right to water.

“This suffering would be ended. Aid me to my city turns into heaven. Zayandehroud’s wetlands have died of officials’ indifference, of services, of illness and desperate seniors,” farmers wrote on a placard.

To disperse the farmers =, the State Security Force (SSF) claimed that Governor Hossein Sistani Mohammad-Abadi supports the people. However, these words sparked protesters’ fury. “The SSF says the Governor is one of us. How is he one of us while he has gathered this many security forces and agents?” questioned a farmer.

“You [SSF] are armed to the teeth. I swear that this is not for defending the country; it is for preserving your position and properties. How do you expect me not to protest for my rights and my wife and children’s rights?” the farmer said, adding, “Here is a governmental building, a public building; however, Mr. Governor has gathered twice our numbers in police forces to save his life. Then, they say, ‘he is one of us.’ If he is one of us, so why does he grant our rights to others?”

“He grants my rights, my ancestors’ rights, my wife and children’s rights, my wife and mother’s Mehrieh (dowry) to others. How dare you call him one of us? Someone who approves, be it the attorney or the Governor, who permits the power plant to give my right to water to the Agriculture and Industry Department, how do you call him one of us?” the farmer said.

“How do you expect us not to be angry? How can the people not be disappointed and outraged? Mr. Governor, Mr. Attorney, Mr. Energy Minister [Reza Ardakanian], Mr. Vice-President [Eshaq Jahangiri] are looting people’s private rights. Misters [SSF], you should be rational! You look at me as an illiterate angry farmer. However, you with all these ranks you carry on your shoulders, and these positions you have made for yourselves, don’t I have any rights as a citizen? Do I?” the farmer questioned SSF commanders.

“No,” said an SSF officer rudely, then other SSF agents parroted, “No, [you don’t have any rights].” In fact, they fueled protesters’ wrath. The farmer responded to oppressive forces, “Then open fire on us, and revoke our ID cards.”

“Respected misters, we have referred to all organizations, offices, and bureaus of Friday Prayers Imams before your eyes. We saw their facilities, bon appetite, we are not stingy. Bon appetite, they benefit from good heater devices in winters and coolers in summers… I do not want anything from the government except my ancestors’ right to water,” the farmer added, and the crowd approved his words.

“I want my ancestors’ right to water … I’m not affiliated with the government. I do not want to be covered by the Khomeini Relief Committee. I have my own rights, and I have the relevant documents to prove it… From a hundred years ago, this water belonged to my ancestors, and now, it has reached me. Why do you want to deprive me of my natural right? Why do you want to deprive my wife and children of their rights?” questioned the farmer.

“Why must I as a farmer work hard, but you build these palaces for yourselves? These can be seen right here before your eyes. Here are your offices, let alone your houses. Bon appetite! However, you once come to eastern Isfahan, inside our sheds. Under these canopies, our youths work hard. But their hard work becomes fruitless because they have no water,” the farmer ended.

Rally of Water Organization Staff
Rally of Water Organization Staff

Rally of Water Organization Staff

Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad province—employees and staff of the Water Organization once again protested officials’ failure to pay their arrears, contract payments, and insurance rights.

Until now, these staff have time and again held gatherings to express their demands. However, officials’ negligence pushed them to travel to Tehran and hold their January 18 rally in front of the Parliament (Majlis). In their rally, protesters criticized the regime for failing to settle their overdue paychecks and respect their fundamental rights.

As a sign of their poor living conditions, they spread a long Sofreh, or ‘Iranian traditional tablecloth,’ to show their financial dilemmas and empty food baskets.

Rally of Teachers
Rally of Teachers

Rally of Teachers

Tehran province—junior teachers held a rally in front of the Majlis, protesting the regime’s legislative apparatus about unfair rules. “Minimum monthly wages for other departmental staff has reached 70 million rials [$280],” the teachers wrote on a banner, calling on officials to revoke rank-rating rules about wages.

They announced that ranking the teachers is flagrant discrimination and demanded balancing salaries. Notably, according to government-linked economists, the poverty line has reached 100 million rials [$400] per month.

This is while the regime pays official and experienced teachers $280 in the best scenario. In such circumstances, teachers, educators, and trainers are struggling to feed their families rather than focusing on their careers and improving the education quality.

Rally of Stockholders
Rally of Stockholders

Rally of Stockholders

Tehran province—many citizens held a rally in front of the Bourse building, protesting officials’ failure to preserve their capitals. In recent weeks, Tehran Stock Market has experienced an unprecedented drop, meaning the destruction of people’s investment, according to state-run media.

This issue prompted stockholders’ anger against the entire regime. During their rally in front of Tehran’s central building of the Stock Market, protesters pulled down the Bourse Organization’s flag, chanting, “Death to Rouhani,” “Death to the economic criminal,” and “You have stolen our money, then you are boasting.”

Previously, high-ranking officials, including the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Rouhani, had frequently incited citizens to invest their properties in the Stock Market. However, the people, who lost their savings, currently have no supporters. Instead, officials blaming each other to evade responsibility. Following the protests, the chief of Tehran Stock Market Hassan Ghalibaf resigned.

Iranians Continue Protests; at Least Four Rallies and Strikes on January 17