On Tuesday January 26, 2021, retirees and social security pensioners rallied in 17 provinces and 22 cities across Iran to protest high prices and unbearable living conditions and Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has given her support. 

In Tehran, large numbers of retirees rallied in front of the regime’s Ministry of Labor despite deterrent and repressive measures to keep them at bay. Large numbers also gathered in front of the regime’s Social Security Organization or the governor’s office across Iran in Isfahan, Ahvaz, Mashhad, Shiraz, Tabriz, Rasht, Sari, Ilam, Qazvin, Karaj, Kermanshah, Ardabil, Neyshabur, Khorramabad, Hamedan, Arak, Shush, Sanandaj, Borujerd, Kerman and Bojnurd. 

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.”

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The crowds of people protested 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. 

Several chants echoed across the rallies: 

  • “Only by taking it to the streets, we will be able to obtain our rights” 
  • “We will not rest until we obtain our rights” 
  • “Down with the deceptive government” 
  • “We express out outrage against these discriminations” 
  • “Our main demand is to level wages according to the inflation” 
  • “We are all together to eliminate discrimination” 
  • “Our tables are empty, enough is enough” 

Maryam Rajavi saluted the deprived protesters and said that by chanting the slogan, “Only by taking it to the streets, we will be able to obtain our rights,” the retirees pledged to continue their protests in other cities across Iran. 

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and (NCRI)previously reported that the price of bread and eggs in Iran have increased substantially despite claims from officials to the contrary. 

Bread is considered a necessity but 60 million Iranians are living below the poverty line, unable to afford this staple food. Even though no official permission was given to raise prices, many bakeries were selling a loaf of bread for 8,500 rials. Traditional breads such as Taftoon or Sangak bread have been sold between 10,000 to 20,000 rials and 25,000 to 30,000 rials respectively. While egg prices have been said to reach up to 550,000 rials for a carton of 30 eggs, with a single egg costing between 17,000 and 20,000 rials. 

The MEK said that while ordinary Iranians cannot afford to buy eggs, the government is exporting them to neighboring countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. 

The MEK wrote: “The high price and shortages of essential goods are directly related to mismanagement by the regime officials who have no idea how to provide eggs and other essential goods at prices people are able to afford. 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.”