Several Iranian veterans protesting in front of the Iranian Parliament over the government’s failure to pay bonuses and compensation were arrested by security forces over the weekend.

The veterans, most of whom fought in Iran’s 1980-88 war with Iraq, gathered in front of the legislature saying they had failed to receive pension bonuses, as well as war compensation and subsistence allowances.

Hassan Nowrozi, a member of parliament, acknowledged the veterans’ complaints, saying the government owes the veterans and their families for “medical claims.”

Compounding the situation were reports that Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, head of the Martyrs Foundation that is charged with helping the families of those who fought in the war, found that tens of millions of dollars earmarked for the fund had been embezzled. Upon his call, an investigation has been started into the issue.

The foundation has dozens of companies under its supervision.

According to some reports, between 320,000 and 500,000 Iranians were wounded in the Iran-Iraq War.

In recent months, many of those wounded in the conflict have been gathering in front of the Martyrs Foundation building in Tehran to protest their living conditions, the non-payment of salaries, and the government’s neglect of their demands.

Iran has been swept by a wave of unrest over economic conditions over the past year.

Labors and pensioners protests in Iran have been on the rise in response to declining living standards, wage arrears, and a lack of insurance support.

The government’s response to the protests has been arrests, violence, and repressions.

Source » rferl