Pro-reform figures in Iran have accused hardliners of pouring gasoline on the fire of deep-rooted dissent by threatening protesters with issuing death sentences.

Several Iranian officials including government spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi and Iranian Army's Ground Force Commander Kiumars Haydari have made extremely annoying comments against protesters in recent days, and 227 Iranian lawmakers have called on the government to issue death sentence for detained protesters. Meanwhile, a newspaper under Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's direct supervision called on the police and Revolutionary Guard to use live combat ammunition against protesters.

Former reformist lawmaker Mohammad Javad Haghshenas said in an interview with Rouydad24 website on Wednesday, November 9 that lawmakers demanding death sentence for demonstrators aim to escalate violence in Iran. He warned that the government has lost all opportunities for a rapprochement with the nation and currently the government and the people face each other “in extra time,” using a sports allegory.

Hardliner lawmakers are beating on the drums of violence, the politician said. His comment was backed on social media where several people charged that "Those who believe to be representing the people, have been calling for execution of those who have voted for them.”

Haghshenas said, "These lawmakers were not even brave enough to put their names on the statement. These are individuals who have entered parliament in a non-competitive election engineered by the Guardian Council and its so-called discretionary supervision. They are even ignorant of their own status as the people's representatives."

Iranian reformist politician, Mohammad Javad Haghshenas

In early 2020, the constitutional watchdog, the Guardian Council in charge of vetting candidates before elections, disqualified hundreds of people ready to compete and engineered a near-total domination of parliament by hardliners in February of that year.

Haghshenas added that the statement by the hardliners will further enrage the protesters who are already angry about and tired of corruption, discrimination and humiliation that prevails in the Iranian society because of the government's hard-line policies.

"They even do not know that the government cannot issue death sentences, or any other sentences and any such decision should be made by the Judiciary that is supposed to be independent of the executive and legislative bodies," Haghshenas added.

Meanwhile, in an article on the Etemad Online website, reformist commentator Abbas Abdi wrote: "The message the government is sending is: We do not to listen to you and do not understand you, and even if we do understand your demands, we do not believe we should give a positive response."

He accused the government of not even understanding plain Persian.

"The government believes in a paranoid way that reality does not exist and it is the government who can create a reality by coming up with its own narrative about what is going on in the society," Abdi observed.

Instead of doing that, the government should tackle the shortage of medicine, control the forex market and inflation and try to sell some oil and reduce the 40-percent inflation to the single-digit figure it promised last year, the pundit argued.

Meanwhile, Iran's reform front, an umbrella organization of several reformist parties and political organizations, issued a statement on Wednesday, saying that the current wave of protests that are led by women and young Iranians is "a movement to take back life."

The statement said the protests are the outcome of many years of denial of the people's concerns that the regime has refused to recognize. The popular anger is the product of accrued and unsolved problems, such as humiliation and oppression people have felt for years, a long-running economic crisis, corruption and discrimination.

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24 with Fardad
24 with Fardad

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