Several people have been arrested during the latest round of nationwide demonstrations by Iranian retirees who are protesting against the government’s meager pension increase.

Videos and photos shared on social media on Sunday showed pensioners protesting in numerous cities including Tehran, Rasht, Tabriz, Orumiyeh (Urmia), Kermanshah, Sanandaj and Bojnourd.

According to the telegram channel of the Free Union of Iranian Workers, several workers of the National Telecommunication Company were arrested during their rally in capital Tehran.

In 2009, Mobin Trust Consortium – whose main shareholders are the Cooperative Foundation of the Revolutionary Guards and the Executive Headquarters of Imam’s Imam Khomeini’s Order (Setad), bought 50 percent of the shares in the National Telecommunication Company from the government in a controversial acquisition.

Protesters chanted slogans against the government’s policy of spending huge amounts of money to garner support among the Lebanese and Palestinians — especially in Gaza — but do not increase the retirees’ payments enough amid a 55-percent inflation rate in Iran.

Similar to previous rounds of protests, which have become more frequent, retireess called on the government to increase pensions by 38 percent, as stipulated by the Supreme Labor Council. They are demanding pension increases more on par with rising prices of essential foods.

With food prices rising faster after four years of United States’ ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions, Iranian workers and retirees have been holding regular protests or strikes to demand higher salaries. Last month, Iran’s currency fell to a historic low of 333,000 rials to the US dollar in June.

Source » iranintl