In their latest protest, Iranian pensioners chanted a slogan reflecting the regime’s real situation, stating, “All three branches are maquettes – and the leader is silent.”
This slogan shows the uselessness of the regime’s branches, which are following the orders of the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei. The importance of this slogan has been brought to light after the poverty-stricken pensioners of six cities decided to start a new round of protests as they fight for the wages that they owed. At the same time, the regime’s media fraudulently reported that the parliament has decided and approved to increase their wages up to 38 percent.
Throughout their protest, they emphasized that they will not step back until they have reached their goal. They condemned the regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi and called him a liar, as well as criticized and mocked the regime’s parliament, which calls itself a revolutionary entity.
The retirees are the representatives of most of the society, the age group that has had the most protests over the past few months. They rightfully pointed out the main reason for their misery and highlighted the growing poverty line affecting the entire Iranian society. They also chanted, “Is this really justice, they are looting the people.”
In recent months, the regime has not responded to even one of the people’s demands, instead, they have chosen to spend billions of dollars on their nuclear projects and a drone contract with the Russian government. This clearly indicates that the Iranian people are the last priority on the regime’s agenda.
While the regime’s banks are supporting its malign activities, they are impoverishing people across the country. The regime is trying to prolong this situation to despair the protesting strata but, as time goes on, it will not benefit from such a policy and will likely face more and more forceful protests.
In parallel with the continuing protests of the pensioners, the contractor workers of Mashhad Power Plant and Hengam Petrochemical have gone on strike. On Tuesday, the piping workers of Mashhad’s Ferdowsi Power Plant also joined the strike.
The same day, the workers of the Rahimi contractor, working in the Mashhad power plant project, stopped work, gathered in front of the power plant, and demanded to receive their wages from June.
As the protests in Iran continue, it is becoming apparent that the people’s expectations are moving from livelihood issues to political demands, aiming squarely at the regime and the supreme leader. Livelihood conflict has now matured into class and political conflict, while the nation constantly chants, “Our enemy is right here; They lie that it is America.”
It is the regime’s policies that have caused the extreme poverty seen in Iran and have deepened the class gap in society, creating huge income differences between the rich and the poor.
On July 17, the state-run Etemad newspaper wrote, “After one year passing from the start of the 13th government, the people’s misery is increasing daily. Yesterday I saw in the butcher shop a mother, who shameful asked the butcher: ‘Sir how much minced meat can I buy with 50,000 rials? And another woman is working as a street vendor in the city’s metro, begging the people to buy something from her. And you stare at her and ask yourself that now today has been passed, what will you do with the sadness of tomorrow?’”
The truth is that one of the main consequences of the increasing social inequality is the increase in crimes. In an interview with the state-run Entekhab daily on July 23, Vahid Shaghaghi, one of the regime’s economic experts, pointed to the ‘crime economy’ and said, “The fact is that there is a topic called crime economy’ in economic literature. Unemployment, inequality, and poverty can explain the economic roots of crime. The economic analysis of the crime phenomenon shows that in parallel to the increase in poverty, inequality, and unemployment in Iran, theft has also increased.”
According to regime experts and its media, the risk of economic collapse and the spread of poverty has exceeded its peak. Class divisions are rampant in Iran, people’s purchasing power is decreasing, and the national currency is losing its worth. At the same time, people are losing life expectancy, and protests are increasing.