News : Iranian opposition
- Published: Saturday, 24 November 2018
By INU Staff
INU- Anti-regime protests that began in Iran in December 2017 are still ongoing, with several major social groups are refusing to bow down to the mullahs, despite an intense crackdown, according to political scientist Dr Majid Rafizadeh.
One example is that of the truck drivers, who began their first round of nationwide strikes in May to protest low wages, low freight rates, high inflation, expensive spare parts, austere insurance terms, and poor working conditions.
However, in the most recent round of strikes, which sprung up in Tehran, Isfahan, Nahavand, Asaluyeh, Zanjan, Shiraz, and Shahrud, among others, the striking workers are demanding the release of the many truck drivers who have been arrested solely for their peaceful protest. Some 261 drivers have been arrested across 19 provinces, according to Iran’s Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA).
While Iranian teachers and the Coordinating Council of Teachers Syndicates in Iran are currently holding their second round of sit-in protests and strikes across the nation since the school year began on September 21, to protest “poor living standards” as a result of their meagre 1 million tomans ($70) monthly salary.
This is barely enough to cover rent, let alone other essentials like food, electricity, gas, water, or medical expenses, so teachers carried signs that read: “We protest against the (low) living standards” and “Promote teachers’ dignity and livelihoods”.
Other teachers are demanding changes to the educational system that allows students to learn in their native language, with signs like, “We protest the state of education (in Iran)”.
These are just two examples of ongoing workers strikes in Iran, but there are hundreds every day, mainly a result of the Regime’s ineptitude and corruption, along with inadequate labour laws.
Dr Majid Rafizadeh wrote: “The Iranian regime’s reaction to the latest round of protests has been a mixture of disregard, playing the blame card, and deploying hard power to crack down on protesters. For example, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei blamed “enemies” for the workers’ poor conditions... While President Hassan Rouhani boasts that freedom exists in Iran and protesters are allowed to freely demonstrate, many protesters have been arrested and threatened with harsh sentences, including the death penalty.
Iran’s hard-line judiciary has been imprisoning protesters on ambiguous charges and without due process.”
Simply, the Regime is responsible for the hardships that befall the Iranian people and the only chance for freedom in Iran is for the mullahs to go.