Iran’s former parliament speaker Ali Larijani, who was barred from running for president in 2021, has warned that the Islamic Republic faces decline and collapse.
Although the speech was about the political ideas of 10th century philosopher Avicenna, Larijani's speech was full of modern political jargon including job creation, economic development, political participation and competitiveness. As Iranian journalist Amir Reza Nazari of Mostaghel daily wrote in a tweetin an apparent analogy with the current Iranian government, "Larijani warned that the continuation of the current situati
Larijani was appointed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to be in charge of relations with China.
on in Iran will lead to the decline and collapse of the regime."
Larijani and other candidates were barred from running in last June’s presidential election, ensuring the election of hardliner Ebrahim Raisi. At the time many predicted the end of “the end of the Larijani era.”
In the speech posted on Larijani's official Telegram channel, he said "The theory of the Islamic revolution was based on rationality and Islamic philosophy, but gradually the Islamic Republic became a populist government."
Larijani made frequent analogies between Avicenna's theory of governance and the current clerical political system. Quoting Avicenna, Larijani said that "a desirable government is one that can create jobs for citizens." Explaining how human societies fail, Larijani added that "only a lawful government that respects the law will not face collapse. In such a government, there is solidarity among citizens and the government operates based on rationality."
He explained that collapse takes place within societies. "It is not foreign invasion that destroys societies. A foreign invasion always takes advantage of flaws within the system." Larijani said in another part of his speech that "Governments that are too strict or too negligent lead to corruption and chaos in society. If leaders cannot convince citizens, then they will not trust the government and the society will collapse."
According to Rouydad24 news website, political observers interpret the appearance as a signal that Larijani wishes to take the lead in the revival of Iran's moderate and reform camp. The website added that the speech was part of Larijani's political manifesto.
As part of his new vision for a political society based on Avicenna's theory, Larijani said that "There should be political participation [in Iran] and economic activities should be based on competition." Meanwhile he stressed that "The existence of a middle class is necessary for restoration of justice in every society." Economists in Iran have recently accused hardliners of destroying the country's middle class and bringing the elites face to face with the underprivileged working class in a hostile confrontation.
According to Rouydad24, a figurehead has been missing in the reform and moderation camp in Iran following the death of Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Larijani is now trying to fill the political vacuum left by the pragmatist figurehead.
Larijani's background as the son of a grand ayatollah, a former IRGC officer, a man who has studied pure mathematics and philosophy in the United States and Iran and a career politician who made sure of parliamentary approval for the 2015 nuclear deal, makes him an ideal candidate for the position. Those who are considered reformists and moderates would welcome the appearance of a leader after being repeatedly locked out of the political system by hardliners since 2020.
His weak point, however, is the involvement of his brothers in lang grabs and financial corruption which was revealed by Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the very parliament Ali Larijani chaired in the 2010s.
Rouydad24 website also said that Larijani's reference to how the political system might collapse is a serious warning to Iranian leaders, who have lost popular trust.