Pensioners Protest Across Iran As Inflation, Sanctions Ravage Economy

Pensioners and retired government employees have staged protests in more than 16 cities across Iran to complain over their financial situation and pensions, which they say aren't enough to live on given the rising cost of living.

The protesters rallied in the capital, Tehran, as well as Karaj, Zanjan, Isfahan, Arak, Kerman, Rasht, Tabriz, Qazvin, and several other cities on June 6, calling for an increase to their pensions as the economy suffers in the face of U.S. sanctions over Iran's nuclear program.

Security forces detained several people and took them to an unknown location in several vans.

According to videos from the scene, demonstrators in Shiraz protested their living conditions by carrying empty tablecloths, while In Tabriz, protesters chanted "Death to Raisi," a reference to President Ebrahim Raisi, and "Death to a deceitful government."

Retirees and pensioners, along with teachers and workers, have repeatedly staged protests in recent years to protest their living conditions and the government's indifference to their demands.

Most of the protests have been met with security crackdowns.

Iran’s economy has been crushed by tough U.S. economic sanctions imposed by the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump, as well as the deadly coronavirus pandemic, which has left at least 2 million Iranians jobless.

Iran's current official inflation rate is now about 45 percent.

Writing and reporting by Ardeshir Tayebi