The economic issues plaguing Iran and its people have been at the forefront as the Iranian regime deals with the reality of fresh sanctions from the United States. The latest evidence of the economic unrest, Iranian truck drivers went on strike on May 22. This nationwide strike involved more than 93 cities in 25 provinces.
The drivers are protesting the deterioration of their livelihoods, low freight, and the high cost of logistic and vehicle installment costs. Many of the drivers noted that their expenses are now exceeding what they are bringing home in wages, making it impossible to earn a living or to care for their families. To strike, the drivers refused to move their trucks or load any of their vehicles with goods for transport. The group of drivers has indicated that they will continue their protest and strike until their demands are met.
The PMOI/MEK reported that last week, protesting truck drivers staged numerous gatherings to protest their low wages and poor living conditions. Problems have remained unresolved for years, as drivers face long waits between loads, thus impacting their ability to make a living.
Numerus reports have indicated that the strike has impacted fuel availability in some areas of the country. Additional strike actions and protests, as well as disruptions to businesses and traffic, are expected in the coming days. Security from the regime is also increasing, and there is the possibility of violence as clashes between the security forces and the protesters are likely.
The regime and its security forces are not taking this strike lying down. They have resorted to many of their old tactics to create disagreements among the drivers, in hopes of causing divisions that would break up the strike. In some of the cities, they have increased the freight charges, but the drivers did not accept these increases. The strikers have not been scared off by the tactics of the regime but are determined to continue their strike to get their voices heard by the regime.
Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), urged those in Iran to support the striking drivers and saluted their efforts. She also called on all Iranians to support the drivers in their efforts.
This strike is just one of the most recent protests and demonstrations by the Iranian people against some aspect of the Iranian regime. While a majority of these protests are focused on different economic complaints, but they all have included chants regarding regime change. In fact, many see regime change as the only way to create a real difference for the Iranian people.
This particular protest comes on the heals of the U.S. pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which has put additional strain on the Iranian economy. Additionally, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called for Iran to withdraw from Syria, as part of the U.S. demands to renegotiate with Iran regarding its nuclear ambitions.
On June 30, the NCRI, Iranians, and their supporters will gather in Paris to discuss the developments in Iran and the path forward to create a democratic Iran.