Faced with soaring inflation, Iranians renewed protests and gatherings denouncing deteriorating living conditions at a time when the government of President Ebrahim Raisi insists on pushing onwards with plans to stop subsidizing basic commodities.
Retirees and pensioners of the Social Security Organization took to the streets again on Saturday.
Protesters in the city of Kermanshah demonstrated against reduced access to food while business owners in the Ahwaz city called on “incompetent” officials to resign.
According to video footage shared on social media, many chanted anti-government slogans on the first anniversary of Raisi’s victory in the presidential elections, which had witnessed the lowest turnout since the 1979 revolution.
Most slogans raised by demonstrators questioned Raisi’s ability in running the government and predicted that his administration would end within days.
The chants also denounced the failure of officials to fulfill promises and accused the government and parliament alike of ignoring worsening conditions of the people.
The new wave of protests is hitting Iran amid fading hopes for a nuclear agreement coming to fruition in Vienna, where negotiations faltered at the beginning of March.
For months now, professionals from different sectors have been demanding raising wages and adjusting pensions to account for ongoing inflation.
Security forces arrested several teachers and workers, according to the private unions organizing the protests.
The authorities released a number of them on bail.
For years, Iranians have been suffering from a severe economic and living crisis. This is mainly due to the isolation of the Iranian economy, which is based on selling oil away from global markets.
Middle class protests erupted at the end of December 2017, after the government of former President Hassan Rouhani raised the price of the dollar in local markets to compensate for the budget deficit.
About half of Iran’s population of about 82 million lives below the poverty line.
Moreover, unofficial estimates put the unemployment rate well above the official rate of 11%.