Further, the TTUC declared that its requests to hold peaceful demonstrations in recent years have been rejected by the government, and that its statements about the situation of average Iranians were ignored.
The TTUC statement also complained about “untenable management at various levels…as well as widespread abuse of official positions.”
As well, on January 5th, Iran’s Independent Trade Unions issued a similar statement, “For years, we said our wages did not allow us to make ends meet, but our voice was never heard.”
The Iranian government doesn’t not recognize the TTUC or the Independent Trade Unions group.
Protests spread to more than 90 cities and towns across Iran following after a spontaneous demonstration broke out in the holy city of Mashhad, the country’s second-largest city, on December 28th. Rising prices and other grievances sparked the demonstration, and violent suppression fanned its flames. At least 22 people are reported to have been killed.
The largest protest Iran has seen since 2009 targeted government policies but also featured chants against Iran’s clerically dominated system and attacks on police and other official institutions. A group of men, without any prior announcement on the Internet or anywhere else, gathered in the eastern city of Mashhad and, out of nowhere seemingly, started shouting slogans about the economy, against President Hassan Rouhani, and even against Iran’s supreme leader.
President Rohani acknowledged that “the people had economic, political, and social demands.” Iranians “have a legitimate right to demand that we see and hear them and look into their demands,” Rohani said.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other Iranian officials have blamed the demonstrations on foreign “enemies.” In a post on his official website, Iran’s supreme leader was quoted as saying, “In recent days, enemies of Iran used different tools including cash, weapons, politics and intelligence services to create troubles for the Islamic Republic.”