Iran: Protests in several cities over economic grievances as elections near

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, May 28, 2021—State-run media in Iran are warning about an all-time low voter turnout in the upcoming presidential election, a lot of which has to do with the continuously declining living conditions of the Iranian people.

On Thursday, the state-run Keyhan newspaper ran a piece titled, “If you cared about election participation, you wouldn’t have created poultry queues,” referring to people standing in lines for hours to get basic goods for their families. Keyhan referred to the extremely poor performance of the government and wrote, “The president is trying to lay the blame for low voter turnout on other institutions, but its own poor performance in the eight past years in improving the economic conditions, and the decline of national currency to an eighth of its value will have a direct effect on the people’s participation in the election.”

On the other hand, Jahan-e Sanat, another state-run newspaper, warned that Ebrahim Raisi, the preferred presidential candidate of regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei, is not fit to fix the country’s economy. Jahan-e Sanat wrote on Thursday, “The statements made by Ebrahim Raisi show that he is not familiar with macro-economy and political economy or has intentionally refrained from speaking about major economic criteria such as budget deficit as the root of all economic problems, the accelerating growth of inflation that has reduced the purchase power of Iranian citizens, the shrinking of economic transactions with other countries that has reduced Iran’s bargaining leverage, or other topics such as the growth of liquidity. Then again, we can’t expect much more from someone who has spent his professional life in the judiciary. But having no familiarity with these issues can be problematic.”

Meanwhile, protests continue to erupt in every corner of Iran by communities who are fed up with the corruption and poverty that is plaguing the country.

On Wednesday, May 26, workers of Iran’s oil industry held a protest rally in different cities. The rally was held following a pre-announced call by official oil workers. They are demanding wages’ increase.

The workers are protesting to the salaries policy of the new Persian year, which started in March 2021. The workers chanted slogans against Bijan Zanganeh, the regime’s oil minister, and demanded his resignation.

The oil workers are demanding a fair increase in their salaries under article 10 of the oil ministry law. They are also demanding reforms to income taxes on difficult jobs and full payment of pensions for retired oil workers.

In this regard, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said, “Anti-regime protests continue every day in Iran. Hail to the oil workers in Asaluyeh, Abadan, Ahvaz, Mahshahr, Gachsaran, Tehran, Bandar Dailam, Khark, and Lavan Island. They rose up with chants of ‘we will not relent until we obtain our rights.’”

On Wednesday, May 26, workers of the Pegah milk factory in Tehran, held a rally protesting the occupation of their lands by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

In Isfahan, drivers of poultry trucks held a protest rally in front of governor’s office on Wednesday, protesting unemployment and a shortage of chickens.

In Ahvaz, workers of the Ahvaz Water and Sewerage Department held a rally in front of the governorate office building demanding delayed paychecks and insurance premiums.

The also demand to put an end to the discrimination against the workers.

School janitors and workers in the city of Shahroud, northeast Iran, held a protest rally in front of the of the office of the city’s MP. They said that “no one is accountable, officials are only seen during the elections.”

They demand wages increase. The wages do not cover their daily expenses.

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