The President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Maryam Rajavi has spoken out following the retiree and pensioner rallies that have taken place this month across Iran to protest price inflations and unbearable living conditions.
Addressing the participants of the protests, she said, “I salute the deprived and defiant retirees and pensioners. Those who insistently pursued their protests until achieving their rightful demands with chants of ‘We will not rest until we get our rights,’ and ‘Only by taking it to the streets, we could gain our rights’.”
Maryam Rajavi urged the youth to support the retirees’ nationwide movement and warned that while the regime is still in power, poverty, inflation, unemployment, corruption and repression will continue.
On Sunday, February 14, a large number of social security retirees gathered in Tehran and 21 other cities across Iran to protest the inflations and low retirement benefits. Many chants were shouted during the rallies, such as; ‘We are tired of injustice’, ‘Our country sits on rich resources but the retirees are suffering’, ‘The gatherings will continue until we reach our goals’, and ‘Our enemy is right here, they lie claiming it’s America’.
Retirees in Tehran, who were holding their largest protest rally in recent months, chanted ‘Enough hollow promises, we have no food,’ and ‘Qalibaf, come out! Qalibaf, come out!’. The latter chant being in reference to the regime’s parliamentary speaker, Mohammad Qalibaf who is said to be an accomplice of Judiciary Chief, Ebrahim Raisi, who sent thousands of political prisoners, associated with the MEK, to their deaths in the 1988 massacre.
Along with the Tehran rally, other protests took place in front of Social Security Organization buildings in the cities of Tabriz, Neyshabur, Arak, Ahvaz, Kermanshah, Yazd, Khorramabad, Isfahan, Ardabil, Shush, Ilam, Qazvin, Shiraz, Karaj, Mashhad, Sanandaj, Kerman, Bojnurd, Dezful, Zanjan and Hamedan.
Similar protests took place in 20 cities across Iran on Wednesday, February 3, as well as Tuesday, January 26, which saw 22 cities take part.
Speaking on the first protest in January, Maryam Rajavi said, “Indeed, the only way to end poverty and inflation is to revolt against the religious fascism and establish freedom and justice in Iran.”
The crowds of people in January were protesting against their living conditions and unpaid wages as well as demanding a revision in formulas to equalize salaries and the paying off of the State’s debts to the Social Security Administration.
In support of the protests, Maryam Rajavi said, “To end poverty, inflation and unemployment, one must only rise up and protest to overthrow the mullahs’ religious fascism and establish freedom and justice in our enchained homeland.”
The high price and shortages of essential goods are believed to be related to mismanagement by the regime officials, leaving the Iranian people unable to afford even basic food staples like bread and eggs.
An earlier report by the Iranian Resistance, said, “It is becoming increasingly clear that Iranian officials deliberately want to starve the people as another way of punishing them for not wholeheartedly supporting the regime and its outdated politics.”