Pensioners gathered in at least 20 cities in Iran today to demand higher pensions.
Pensioners gathered outside the Social Security Organization buildings in Tehran, Karaj near Tehran, Qom south of Tehran, Arak southwest of Tehran, Isfahan and Yazd in central Iran, Tabriz, Ardabil, Qazvin, and Zanjan in northwest Iran, Mashhad, Bojnurd and Neyshabur in northeastern Iran, Kerman in southeast Iran, Shushtar, Shush, Dezful, Ahvaz and Shiraz in southwestern Iran, and Sanandaj, Khorramabad, Ilam, and Kermanshah in western Iran.
In Tehran, pensioners chanted “our main demand is that our wages equal inflation”, “high prices and inflation is a calamity for the people”, and “we will not back down until we get our rights.”
One of the placards the pensioners held read “the poverty line is 12 million (tomans), our wages are 3 million (tomans).” Most pensioners are living under the poverty line and cannot meet their weekly living expenses.
This is the fifth nationwide gathering of pensioners in the past two months. Previous protests were held on January 26, January 10, January 3, and in December 2020. Due to a record low of the national currency and economic problems, as well as corruption and mismanagement in Iran, the poverty line for a family of four has increased to 10 million tomans (around $385). The absolute poverty line is 6.8 million tomans (around $262), which puts 50% of the Iranian population, including pensioners, under the line of “absolute poverty”.