Retirees of Iran’s Martyrs and Veterans Foundation gathered at its headquarters in Tehran to protest their unpaid pensions. February 18, 2019. (ANA)

February 22, 2021

Iranian retirees protested in dozens of cities across Iran against inadequate pensions amid high inflation due to ongoing US sanctions and difficult living conditions, according to various videos posted on social media.

Retirees and pensioners of Iran’s State Welfare Organization first staged mass protests last Sunday in the cities of Tehran, Karaj, Tabriz, Isfahan, Shiraz, Ahvaz, and several other cities, according to RFE/RL’s Radio Farda.

The retirees, who number around 4.5 million of Iran’s population, say they want an increase in their pension funds to get out of the poverty line.

Several videos seen by Al Arabiya English showed protest rallies being held in the cities of Tehran, Ahwaz, Tabriz, Mashhad, Isfahan, Arak, Qazvin, Khorramabad and other areas on Sunday, February 21, during which retirees chanted slogans such as: “Enough promises, our table is empty.”

Other slogans chanted included: “We are paid in rials (Persian currency equal to 0.000024 USD), while our expenses are in dollars,” “The nation has never seen so much injustice,” and “We are outraged by so much injustice.”

According to the Iran International news outlet, a retiree in Iran’s social security system usually receives around $120 a month by the current exchange rate. Official sources have placed the minimum monthly cost of living at $400, according to the Iran International report.

According to Article 96 of Iran’s Social Security Act, pensions in the country must be increased in proportion to the increase in living expenses. The Iranian government has not adhered to the article as it says it has a lack of resources to comply with.

Retirees gathered in front of the building of the Social Security Organization of Iran in Tehran on Sunday. Their protest movement representatives were able to enter the headquarters and discussed their problems with officials.

Al Arabiya

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.