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Iran Teachers Protest For Fair Wages, Release of Imprisoned Teachers

Center For Human Rights in Iran

Thousands of Iranian teachers and protesters took to the streets in several cities throughout Iran, including the capital, Tehran, to demand that the Islamic Republic provide fair wages, better working conditions, and release imprisoned teachers.

On Twitter and other social media outlets, young and old protesters were marching on the streets with posters and photographs of imprisoned teachers, while facing arrests from the Islamic Republic’s security forces.

These recent protests are part of a continuing resistance movement against Iran’s Islamic Government, which members of the opposition claim that it prefers to squander and spend its money on terrorism instead of bettering the lives of its people.

According to various social media posts, Iranian citizens and teachers protesting in places like the city of Shiraz chanted “Imprisoned teachers must be released!” The Iranian Teachers Trade Unions Coordination Council stated that at least 30 protesters were detained by security forces for speaking out against the regime for not implementing a ranking bill that would classify teachers according to their general and professional qualifications into five ranks that could provide new and better salaries for teachers.

In late April, a court in Iran sentenced members of the teachers' union to five years in prison for conducting what the government called illegal protest and propaganda. Teachers have demanded free education for children, given that thousands of children in Tehran are working because many of their families cannot afford to send them to school.

Many teachers in Iran today have the lowest salaries and have had to work several shifts and jobs to make ends meet. Teachers who have witnessed their colleagues imprisoned and brutally tortured by the regime, are risking their lives by openly calling for the regime to release their friends from jail. According to officials and analysts, the bravery of Iranian teachers to protest for basic human rights against a repressive regime is something that deserves international recognition.

In response to the protests by teachers, the regime deployed security forces to threaten teachers back into working and have used physical violence against them. State-run newspapers in Iran have stated that the rallies are being generated and controlled by “enemies of the state” while also downplaying the teacher’s demands and arguing that teachers have had a substantial budget increase from the regime. The IRGC, on the other hand, has had a 240 percent year-over-year increase in billions of dollars on terrorism activities and domestic repression.

While the Biden Administration may support these protests and call on the Iranian regime to cease their repression, the U.S. has not enacted any harsh repercussions against the regime and instead is planning to revive the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran nuclear deal, with Iran, providing the regime with waivers on economic sanctions that will help support terrorist proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah.

From its inception, the Islamic Republic of Iran has prioritized the single goal of spreading its radical Islamic beliefs throughout the world, using the nation's oil wealth and economy to support the regime and provide money to terrorist proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah.

As a result, ordinary Iranian civilians have lacked food, clothing, housing, political rights with no hope for change in the country for themselves or their families. Those who have spoken out against the regime have either been imprisoned, tortured, or faced death at the hands of the Islamic Republic’s security forces.

In 2009, Iranian demonstrators across Iran took to the streets to protest the results of the disputed victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The protest swept in cities and the capital of Tehran, where people protested the lack of food, deforestation, corruption, and oppression of the Islamic Republic. Protesters wore and carried green garb and flags, dubbing this movement as the Green Revolution, which gained international attention and was spread widely across social media outlets like Twitter.

In response to the protests, the Islamic Republic used its security forces to brutally repress the protesters and arrest individuals who tried to fight back.

While countries like the United States condemned the Islamic Republic’s actions, Western governments did not act against the regime and treated Ahmadinejad as Iran’s president months after the Green Revolution. In the years after, protests in Iran have continued to take place in various areas against the actions of the Islamic Republic, facing imprisonment, torture, and death from the Islamic Republic.

During the Trump administration, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not only supported the various protests that occurred in Iran but enacted a series of sanctions and other tightening policies against the regime known as the Maximum Pressure Campaign to hurt the Ayatollah and support protesters. After the Trump administration targeted and killed Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force General Qasem Soleimani, Iranian civilians took to the streets to praise the administration's actions.

In later months, protesters in cities like Isfahan and others have demonstrated peacefully against the regime, demanding that the government fix the country’s water shortages and economic mismanagement.

The Islamic Republic has responded by arresting thousands of protesters, labeling them Western and Israeli spies. The protest efforts have not stopped since then and continue to form thanks to social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and other Social Media outlets. Social media has allowed not only Iranian protesters to receive online support but also the repressive actions of the Islamic Republic and its security forces.

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