Veterans, retirees step up protests in Iran

By Seth Galinsky
July 31, 2023
Tasnim news agency

Dozens of veterans and their families rallied outside the Martyrs and Veterans Foundation in Tehran July 8, above, chanting, “Yesterday’s soldiers, today’s hungry.” They were protesting government plans to slash their pensions and other benefits amid the deepening capitalist economic crisis and sky-high inflation. They also pushed for Tehran to pursue getting compensation from the Iraqi regime for injuries suffered in the U.S.-backed invasion on the heels of the 1979 revolution that overthrew the shah.

Tasnim, the news agency of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, denied reports police attacked the protest with tear gas and beat demonstrators, but admitted the cops intervened and said, “The possibility that they used pepper spray is under investigation.”

Tens of thousands of Iranian volunteers who fought in the 1980 to 1988 war suffer chronic illnesses caused by chemical weapons fired by the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein.

Many veterans discourage their relatives from signing up for the Revolutionary Guard  — today a hated repressive force against Iran’s working people — because they don’t want them sent off as cannon fodder in the bourgeois-clerical regime’s military adventures abroad.

Hundreds of retirees protested July 16, 17, and 18, part of weekly actions across Iran demanding the government increase their pensions.