Veteran Craftsmen's Pension Cut Off

Veteran Craftsmen's Pension Cut OffVeteran Craftsmen's Pension Cut Off

The pension of veteran handicraft artisan has been cut off by the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance, said the director general of expansion and development of traditional arts office at Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), Abdolmajid Sharifzadeh.

"The veterans were supposed to receive a meagerl monthly payment which would have amounted to 600,000 rials to 1,5 million rials ($19 - $45) based on a government directive," he said, adding: "In other words, it would cost the government less than 3.7 billion rials ($115,000) a year to pay the pensions."

Most pensioners are veteran artisans who are old and frail, and have health problems, according to the official.

"The government is not making a saving by cutting off the pensions of those who have spent a lifetime keeping traditional Persian art and craft alive," he asserted.

Sharifzadeh said that the deputy of handicrafts at ICHHTO Bahman Namvar Motlagh is in contact with responsible bodies to try and restore the pensions.

Most artisans are plagued by financial problems, he said, and added, "While $45 may seem insignificant to most people, it means the world to veteran craftsmen."

It was unclear when the pension started and why it was cut off.