It is not an exaggeration to say Iranian society is on the verge of collapse and a social explosion. At every corner of the country we are witnessing daily protests by all strata. From the students to the workers to the retirees and women, who have nothing more to lose anymore.
One example are the retirees who now for the third time since the Persian New Year have taken to the streets to protest their miserable livelihood situation and low wages, which are breaking their backs under the burden of high costs and inflation.
Their protest this time took place in Tehran and 26 other cities while the regime’s police force was fully prepared and tried to prevent anyone from filming and or joining them by attacking the protesters.
The repetition of the protests and its maturation into three protest movements this year shows the social readiness. This fact is clearly crystallized in the slogan of the retirees.
“For as long as we do not get our rights, we will come here every Sunday.”
“Only on the streets will we gain our rights.”
Reaching the point that only by coming to the streets to gain the rights is a blessed achievement for the social movement and a serious alarm for the regime.
The regime’s options are very limited. On the one hand it cannot repress these protests because it fears the consequences of the spread of these protests. On the other hand, it cannot ignore them because it will have the same effect and more people will join these protests. This is a situation in which the regime is stuck.
In a situation whereby the regime needs a silent society to run its presidential election, such protests are very dangerous. Among the protesters’ recent chants were: “We will not vote anymore, because we have heard too many lies.”
This slogan targeting the regime’s election. Its repetition and expansion is very dangerous for the regime’s legitimacy.
The regime’s officials are well aware that any mistake could well be their last mistake, especially because of a society after the November 2019 protests. Previously the regime’s Parliament Speaker Mohamad Bagher Ghalibaf said:
“Today we face various challenges in the system. We are witnessing economic problems in the system. People’s livelihoods are under pressure to the extent that the issue of supplying and distributing chicken simply plays with the people’s soul.
“These issues are due to poor management, not lack of resources. Today, the enemies enter the economy to weaken the system, so the dichotomy of poverty and wealth has become more important to the system than the dichotomy of war and peace. If the demands are not answered accurately, in a timely manner and quickly, we will face different problems every day.”
He was evidently confessing to the self-made social gap in the society and its danger for the regime, which will lead to more protests as he said that ‘we face different problems every day.’
“The mentioned inefficiencies cause problems that the police have to bear the burden of, and any action in this direction causes various problems.” (ISNA, April 10, 2021)
While requesting more law enforcement and the allocation of more resources to it, Ghalibaf was trying to reduce and cover up the people’s hatred and disgust for these forces and said: “Today, law enforcement is at the heart of people’s lives, and NAJA (police) commanders often meet with people more than their own forces, so it is important to know the phenomena before taking any action. NAJA is successful when it can move actively and ahead of phenomena.”
‘Moving actively and ahead of phenomena’, means that the regime’s forces should have the society’s pulse in their hands, to predict any uprising and prevent it in time.