By Kayhan Life Staff
The Majlis (Iranian Parliament) has passed an amendment to the government’s 2022-23 budget bill, increasing the salaries of police and armed forces personnel by 20 percent, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported on Oct. 30.
Of the 245 Majlis deputies, 164 voted in favor of the bill and 29 against, and another 15 abstained, the report added. The measure is part of a broader amendment to the government’s budget bill on adjusting the salaries of government and armed forces personnel and retirees.
The salary increase for the members of police and security forces coincides with the ongoing nationwide protests sparked by the death of Mahsa (Zhina) Amini, a 22-year-old woman, who died while in the custody of the morality police on Sept. 16 in Tehran.
Protesters continue to pour into the streets of Iranian cities and towns despite the brutal crackdown by the riot police, plainclothes Basij (voluntary militias), and security forces.
It is unusual for the Majlis to fast-track a bill on increasing the salaries of the police and security forces.
The bill’s sponsor, Ahmad Amirabadi-Farahani, a Majlis deputy representing the Qom electoral district, said the measure aimed at adjusting the salaries of the police and the armed forces in line with the country’s Civil Service Law.
“According to Clause 3 of Article 117 of the Civil Service Law, the salaries and benefits of the police and the armed forces personnel must be 20 percent more than those serving in the government and military,” Mr. Amirabadi-Farahani, a former IRGC officer, explained. “Their current salaries are much lower than those serving in the military. Therefore, the salaries of those protecting our borders must rightfully increase.”
Last week, Fariborz Karamizand, a former captain in the Iranian Law Enforcement Forces, published what appeared to be several pay slips of police personnel which showed the average monthly salaries deposited into their accounts to be below $200.
Mr. Karamizand, who opposes the Islamic Republic, tweeted: “After a month of cracking down on the protests, the [monthly] salary of police personnel shows that it does not even amount to the daily [allowance] of the officials’ children. Some people have still sold themselves and brutalized their compatriots for so little money.”
“You have betrayed your families,” He added. “When will you realize you are only instruments of oppression? #Mahsa_Amini.”
The tweet included copies of what appeared to be deposit slips from several Bank Sepah accounts with the recipients’ names concealed.
A day later, Karamizand tweeted: “Even the Taliban forces receive higher salaries than the Islamic Republic army, though Iran is much wealthier than Afghanistan. While the Taliban has been in power for only a year, the Islamic Republic has ruled Iran for 43 years.”
“Anyone who prevents the regime’s downfall betrays themselves and others,” He added. “They will be swept away at the end. #Mahsa_Amini.”
The tweet included a copy of a document allegedly showing the “latest” salary chart of the Taliban.
The move by the Majlis to increase salaries and benefits of police and the armed forces comes amid a report on the rapid deterioration of the security forces. The ongoing protests have posed a severe challenge to the country’s police and security forces, whose resources have been stretched thin. They cannot replace the exhausted riot police, Basij, and security forces in the streets with fresh units.
In a meeting with the police commander for Tehran’s western district on Oct. 8, Tehran Governor Mohsen Mansouri said: “Some police forces have not gone home during the unrest.”
“The structure of the security forces cannot address the current situation,” he added. “However, the police have maintained security and order by working around the clock.”
In February, several members of law enforcement forces and their families protested over low salaries and lack of benefits.