Iranian labour minister resigns amid protests

Iranian labour minister resigns amid protests

Iran's labour minister Hojatollah Abdolmaleki resigned on Tuesday amid daily nationwide protests by pensioners, merchants and workers against soaring living costs.

While it was not clear if Abdolmaleki’s resignation was directly related to the month-long protests, a senior MP blamed his “incompetence” for the unrest.

The semi-official Tasnim news website said his resignation followed "mounting criticism for his handling of the labour market and a meagre rise in the retirement pensions."

”His failure to create a planned number of jobs and the growing protests over insufficient raises in the retirement pensions had fuelled speculations that parliament will impeach him,” Tasnim said in its English-language site.

The Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Security had said it would increase pensions by 57.4% to 55.8 million Iranian rials ($177) a month. But pensioners said it was too little too late to cope with years of inflation.