Iran’s Regime Fails To Counter Growing Wave Of Protests Across The Country – OpEd


Despite efforts by Ali Khamenei, the Iranian regime supreme leader, to use his warmongering tactics in the region to silence the voice of social protests, the cries of the hungry against the oppressors resonate in the streets of Iran.

On December 27, the strike of the workers of the National Steel Industrial Group in Ahvaz continued for the fifth consecutive day. This week, the workers marched from the company’s premises to Baghaei Square, disregarding the regime’s threats. They chanted, “Threats and prison no longer have any effect,” and “Death to the oppressors, hail to the workers.”

On the same day, the gold traders’ guild also held the fifth day of strike in protest against coercion and unfair taxation. Furthermore, the people of Ardakan, in their third day of protest against air pollution and the expansion of polluting industries that endanger their health, dressed their children in shrouds and continued their demonstrations with anti-regime slogans.

On December 25, retirees of the Telecommunications Company of Iran in Shiraz, Sanandaj, Shahrekord, Khorramabad, Ardabil, Isfahan, Marivan, Tabriz, Arak, Ahvaz, Hamedan, Bijar, Rasht, Sari, Zanjan, Kermanshah, and others gathered once again in front of the local offices of the TCI to protest the lack of attention to their demands. Additionally, nurses in Tehran, Ahvaz, and Qazvin joined the retirees in their protest gatherings.

The intensity of the opposition to tax pressures and the increased exploitation of retirees and workers has caused concern among some officials and government-affiliated media.

On December 24, Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani, an Iranian politician, warned about the uprising of the hungry and said, “Today, half of the society and people are living below the poverty line, struggling with economic problems. A prominent example of this is the budget that has been allocated this year.”

Yousef Davoudi, a member of the Majlis (Parliament), expressed his fear of the growing discontent and protest gatherings of the people during the approval of the budget bill of the Raisi government. He said, “With this budget, the value of the national currency will further decline, and the purchasing power of the people will decrease, exacerbating social crises in the country.”

On December 20, another member of Majlis, in protest against Raisi and his budget bill, said, “We came up with a one percent adjustment and homogenization, meaning we take from the pockets of the son and grandson and put it in the pocket of the retiree, which is unacceptable. Now, no financial allocation has been made for any project other than the presidential travel projects.”

The reality is that each provincial trip by Raisi is an expensive project to the tune of billions of rials.  According to Rahmatollah Norouzi, members of the Majlis during their visits to various regions of the country, are accompanied by a 500-member security guard, so that “the people keep their distance.”

On December 25, Iran newspaper, which is run by the executive branch, also justified this issue by confirming that “in every trip or presence of the president in different regions, security forces from various divisions of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), law enforcement, emergency services, or IRGC Basij forces are present to ensure the security of the ceremony.”

On December 26, the fourth day of the steel workers’ strike and the outcry of retirees and various segments of society, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistane (NCRI), said, ” Various sectors of Iranian society, including workers, retirees, nurses, and bazaar merchants are incessantly staging strikes and protests against Khamenei and his predatory faction. These incessant protests display the Iranian people’s irreconcilable opposition to the mullahs’ criminal regime.

“As Isfahan’s steel workers cry out, We fight against oppression and injustice,’ these protests coupled with the activities of the Resistance Units will sweep away Khamenei’s bloodthirsty regime.”

Mahmoud Hakamian

Mahmoud Hakamian writes for The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), also known as Mujahedin-e-Khalgh (MEK)

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