As the Iranian truck drivers began their strike, the focus was drawing attention to the lack of pay, increasing fees, and other concerns of the drivers. However, the strike also drew the attention of the security forces of the regime and the pressure was on for them to stop. Yet, these drivers have continued to protest.
Repressive measures include attacking protesters with electric shockers and tear gas, which resulted in multiple injuries. The State Security forces also have threatened those striking truck drivers, removing their license plates and confiscating their refinery access permits.
On Saturday, the drivers were faced with agents from the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), who summoned drivers from the various sectors of transportation. Their names were released on social media. In Sabzevar, the head of the State Security Forces allegedly threatened to ban the striking drivers from all the roads in Iran.
In spite of the repressive measures, the freight terminals in various cities remains half-closed, because striking drivers are refusing to transport loads and are lining the roads with their trucks. In some cases, truckers are even blocking the passage of loaded vehicles. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is escorting fuel trucks with security, just to make sure that they get through to their destinations.
The strike has gained support from other industries, including the taxi drivers and owners in Tehran, who are protesting low fares and expensive spare parts. Farmers in Varzaneh rallied their tractors in support of the striking drivers. The additional support shows that economic concerns are continuing to grow throughout the country. Unemployment remains high and the cost of living continues to increase, so the protests go on.
Students have also begun to protest against the insulting and humiliation of Baluchi citizens and Sunni Muslim rituals. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), called on the youth of the country to support the protesters.
“Shame and hatred for the clerical regime, which is the main source of discrimination and disunity in Iran today,” said Rajavi.
As can be seen by these two different protests, the Iranian people are voicing their distrust and concerns with the regime, despite threats meant to keep them quiet. The point is that the Iranian people are not willing to be silenced but are determined to have their voices heard about the issues within Iran. The international community should look at these protests in context with the larger issues regarding Iran to see what the Iranian people really think versus what the regime tells the international community the Iranian people want.