As the social and economic crises continue to ravage Iran, in the cities of Ahvaz and Isfahan groups of retirees and pensions took to the streets to hold protest rallies on Sunday. The demonstrations were regarding the poor living conditions they are facing, as well as low wages and the lack of response from the Iranian regime to their demands.
Protests have taken place in various cities across Iran in recent months, but regime officials continue to avoid addressing the demands of the pensioners. The main issue faced by the protesters is that the meager pensions that they receive barely cover even the most basic living expenses, and their payments are often delayed for several months at a time, leaving the men and women struggling to survive in a country swimming in poverty.
The decline in Iran’s economy, spurred by government corruption and destructive policies, has plunged the lives of many pensioners and retired government workers into utter poverty. The rial, Iran’s national currency, has seen a huge dip in the past few years, losing more than 80 percent of its value.
As a result, the prices of basic goods have skyrocketed while the pensions and salaries of Iranian citizens have not been altered to match the rising inflation in such a damaged economy. This has in turn caused many pensioners to fall under the poverty line. The refusal to adjust pensions to fit the inflation rates is surprisingly going against the Iranian government’s own policies.
A census taken in 2020, identified that there are 18 million pensioners living in Iran. Due to the hardships that they are facing, they are part of the 96% of the Iranian population who currently live under the poverty line. Even the regime’s own statistics have identified that more than 75% of these pensioners are struggling to provide for their most basic needs.
Pensioners receive on average 25 million rials per month while the poverty line in some parts of Iran has reached 100 million rials in the past year.
Years ago in Iran, the class divide was more apparent, and the poverty line was clearly defined. These days, the poverty line has risen sharply and now encompasses the middle class of Iranian society. As the country’s crises continue to wreak havoc on people’s lives, and the inflations rates show no sign of slowing, it begs the question as to how much further the poverty line will grow.
In recent days, another protest rally took place in front of the Majlis (parliament) in Tehran. A group of users of the Cryptoland online market gathered to demand that their stolen investments should be returned to them.
The users of Cryptoland have been holding protests for several months, but authorities are refraining from acting on their demands. Cryptoland had around 289,000 users, who have lost a collective $200 billion worth of savings in the online marketplace.