On Wednesday, February 17, the people of Iran staged at least ten rallies and protests in various cities, venting their anger over the regime’s failure to provide people’s essential demands. Residents of Khuzestan had the lion’s share with four protests, including preschool educators, Health Center’s drivers, retirees, and Haft-Tappeh workers.

In addition to Khuzestan, citizens staged rallies in at least nine other provinces. Pensioners and retirees of the Social Security Organization held gatherings in front of the organization’s representations in seven provinces. Haft-Tappeh workers continued their rally for the fifth consecutive day in front of the Labor Office, demanding officials announce the rules of the Dispute Resolution Council.

Rally of Preschool Educators—Iranians continue protests on February 17
Rally of Preschool Educators—Iranians continue protests on February 17

Rally of Preschool Educators

Khuzestan province—a group of preschool educators along with their children in Izeh county held a rally in front of the local Education Department.

They protested officials for failing to follow up their demands after several months. During recent months, preschool educators held numerous rallies in various areas in the southwestern province of Khuzestan. They demanded the department recruits them officially.

Rally of Contract Teachers—Iranians continue protests on February 17
Rally of Contract Teachers—Iranians continue protests on February 17

Rally of Contract Teachers

Tehran province—a group of contract teachers from the provinces of Isfahan and Tehran staged a gathering in front of the Parliament (Majlis).

They demanded the legislative apparatus pursue the implementation of approved plans and bills. Notably, in a publicity stunt, the Majlis passed several plans, ensuring teachers’ rights. However, the plans were seemingly another instrument by the government to deceive and silence teachers’ protests.

Rally of Steel Company’s Retirees—Iranians continue protests on February 17
Rally of Steel Company’s Retirees—Iranians continue protests on February 17

Rally of Steel Company’s Retirees

Isfahan province—a group of Isfahan Zob-e Ahan [Steel] Company’s retirees held a rally at Khajavi Square, demanding officials follow up their grievances.

The company has recently raised retirees’ pensions. However, this increase is not appropriate with the current rate of inflation. In this respect, retirees expressed their discontent over the managing board’s performance, asking the company to adjust their pensions with the inflation rate.

Rally of Health Center’s Drivers—Iranians continue protests on February 17
Rally of Health Center’s Drivers—Iranians continue protests on February 17

Rally of Health Center’s Drivers

Khuzestan province—Drivers of Health Center’s rented vehicles in the Shush city staged a rally in front of the Health Center.

They protested officials’ failure to pay their salaries. Drivers also expressed their despair about the lack of job security. Iran is considered the worst coronavirus-hit country in the Middle East, according to official statistics. However, the government refuses to allocate an adequate budget to the hygienic department, exacerbating the health crisis.

Locals Protest Holding Exhibition—Iranians continue protests on February 17
Locals Protest Holding Exhibition—Iranians continue protests on February 17

Locals Protest Holding Exhibition

Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province—manufacturers of furniture in Shahrekord city, the province’s capital, staged a gathering in front of the Provincial Governorate.

They protested officials for holding a furniture exhibition amidst the coronavirus outbreak. “Do not sacrifice people’s health for financial interests of periodic exhibitions.

Notably, as of Wednesday, February 17, more than 217,200 Iranian citizens have died of the novel coronavirus, according to the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

Only in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province, the virus has claimed the lives of 1745 people. Furthermore, there is harrowing news about the UK mutated strain spreading in several provinces, and dozens of people have lost their lives to this kind of Covid-19.

Rally of Urban Engineers—Iranians continue protests on February 17
Rally of Urban Engineers—Iranians continue protests on February 17

Rally of Urban Engineers

Tehran province—urban engineers held a rally in front of the Housing and Urban Office. They protested officials for lack of selective supervision on construction projects and the destruction of advisory companies due to the rent-seeking in the engineering system.

“Syndrome of fluctuating rules in the engineering system has destroyed advisory companies” and “Officials are responsible for supporting the private sector and financial activities,” protesters had written on banners.

Rally of Retirees—Iranians continue protests on February 17
Rally of Retirees—Iranians continue protests on February 17

Rally of Retirees

Retirees, pensioner, and welfare recipients affiliated with the Social Security Organization held rallies in front of the organization’s representatives and provincial governorates in seven cities, including Tehran, the capital of Tehran province, Rasht, the capital of the northern province of Gilan, Ahvaz, the capital of the southwestern province of Khuzestan, Zanjan, the capital of the western province of Zanjan, Gorgan, the capital of the northern province of Golestan, Mashhad, the capital of the northeastern province of Razavi Khorasan, and Qazvin, the capital of Qazvin province western Tehran.

They demanded officials increase their pensions in accordance with the poverty line, implement the rule for balancing wages, resolve problems about insurance, and pay regular bonuses on the occasion of Nowruz—new Persian year.

They also insisted on classifying their job experiences as hard and harmful works, asking the organization to consider this element in balancing pensions.

In Ahvaz city, protesters rallied in front of the Provincial Governorate, venting their anger over the regime’s failure to meet retirees’ demands. “We would never stop [protesting] until we obtain our rights” and “Retirees will die but will never accept discrimination,” chanted protesters.

In Mashhad city, retirees gathered in front of the organization’s representation in Razavi Khorasan province. One of the protesters listed pensioners’ demands once again.

Rally of Andisheh Residents—Iranians continue protests on February 17
Rally of Andisheh Residents—Iranians continue protests on February 17

Rally of Andisheh Residents

Qazvin province—residents of Andisheh town, in 5km of Qazvin city, held a rally, protesting judiciary agents’ claims about their ownership. This town includes 1,000 plots of land, belonging to the Ta’avoni Maskan [Housing Cooperative] of the State Security Forces (SSF). However, judiciary agents say that the ownership of these lands has legal problems.

“I and many other residents had purchased these lands 25 years ago. These lands have ownership documents. However, the administrative and executive organizations have created some problems, and we are not aware of them. We received no clear response when we referred to the judiciary,” said a resident.

Rally of HEPCO Workers—Iranians continue protests on February 17
Rally of HEPCO Workers—Iranians continue protests on February 17

Rally of HEPCO Workers

Markazi province—a group of Arak city-based HEPCO factory staged a gathering at the Arak’s railroad, showing their discontent about the officials’ refusal to resolve the company’s economic dilemmas.

During recent months, HEPCO workers rallied several times at the factory’s facility, in front of the Markazi Governorate and the Parliament (Majlis). They demanded the government settle the factory’s debt and aid it to resume its production cycle.

However, the government practically rejected workers’ appeals despite the deceitful remarks of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, beating the drums for supporting domestic production.

Rally of Haft-Tappeh Workers—Iranians continue protests on February 17
Rally of Haft-Tappeh Workers—Iranians continue protests on February 17

Rally of Haft-Tappeh Workers

Khuzestan province—a group of Haft-Tappeh workers rallied in front of the Labor Office, demanding officials announce the rules of the Dispute Resolution Council. Following the government’s suggestion to workers about pursuing their grievances through legal paths, workers referred the Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane Complex’s case to the council.

In this context, workers rallied in front of the Labor Office to realize the council rules. However, the government and administrative officials refuse to acknowledge the rules.

“We have realized that in the Dispute Resolution Council, eight of nine persons have voted in favor of laborers. However, the officials refuse to announce the result. They turn our little demands into security issues,” said a worker.

“Now, [Shush] Governor Adnan Ghazi, Provincial Governor Qassem Soleimani Dashtaki, Intelligence Department, and even Interior Minister [Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli] are involved in the issue for announcing a simple vote. They tell us to pursue the legal path, but they do not respect their own law,” the worker ended.

Iranians Continue Protests; at Least Four Rallies and Strikes on February 16