On Wednesday, June 8, 2022, thousands of retirees and pension recipients affiliated with the Social Security Organization continued their protests in at least ten provinces for the third day. “Death to [regime president Ebrahim] Raisi,” “Raisi; death to your deception,” and “We can only obtain our rights on the tarmac,” chanted retirees outside government offices.
— Iran News Update (@IranNewsUpdate1) June 8, 2022
“Retirees rallied and marched in Tehran, Yazd, Ahvaz, Zanjan, Arak, Karaj, Kermanshah, Kerman, Rasht, and Khorramabad cities, protesting the regime for plundering their rights and indifference toward their rightful demands,” the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran stated.
On Sunday, the Raisi cabinet approved an enactment, increasing retirees’ pensions by 10 percent, while economists’ lowest estimation of inflation is above 40 percent. Protesting retirees and pension recipients say this is another deceitful approach by Ebrahim Raisi, whose resume contains four decades of mass murder and plunder.
Notably, Raisi is infamous as the butcher of Tehran for his role in death commissions, which led thousands of political prisoners to the gallows in the summer of 1988. Survivors say the regime mass executed more than 30,000 political prisoners, mostly members, and supporters of the axis opposition group Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK).
In the past two years, Social Security Organization retirees held weekly rallies, urging officials to adjust their salaries with the inflation rate. However, the country’s economic deterioration left no option but to flood onto the streets, raising their voices for fundamental rights for consecutive days.
Since mid-May, citizens have faced several-fold hikes in the prices of food staples, including bread, egg, chicken meat, and cooking oil. The hikes continued by increasing the costs of mild and dairy products, sugar, rice, and other essential parts of Iranian families’ food baskets.
“After assuming office in August 2021, Raisi made bold promises to eradicate poverty and improve the economic situation of the country. Less than a year into his presidency, prices of basic goods are skyrocketing, inflation is at a record high, and the price of the rial is continuing its nosedive,” the MEK official website wrote.
“Interestingly, the regime’s own media reported that The Social Security Investment Company (SHASTA), the financial institution that is supposed to fund retirees, has seen a significant increase in its profits in the past year. However, these profits have yet to materialize in the lives of pensioners and retirees.”
Protesting retirees also mocked Raisi for the lack of academic education. “Sixth-grader [Raisi], what happened to your promises?” protesters chanted, referring to Raisi’s drop-out of school in the sixth grade. “We don’t want a sixth-grader government.”
The regime’s failure to address retirees’ grievances and repression turned socio-economic slogans into political ones. “Death to Raisi,” “Our incapable government is a disgrace,” “The sixth-grader government will collapse soon,” “Our Lord, uproot the tyranny,” “Death to the deceitful government,” and “We die but never give in to disgrace,” chanted by outraged protesters.
“Iran’s honorable retirees took to the streets for the second day running. They continued their protests and demonstrations with chants of ‘Death to Raisi’ and ‘Death to this deceptive government,’” said NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi. “The Iranian people’s tables are empty, and the criminal thieves ruling the country must go away.”