Police officers trying to control schoolgirls protesting against the Islamic Republic. Oct. 4, 2022

Police officers trying to control schoolgirls protesting against the Islamic Republic. Oct. 4, 2022

Some Politicians Slam Iran's Hardliners For Threatening Protesters

Saturday, 11/12/2022

An increasing number of Iranian lawmakers and former politicians blame the government, not foreigners for the nationwide uprising that has entered its 8th week.

Government officials in the core of the regime and military commanders in Iran keep blaming foreign countries and their alleged agents for instigating unrest in Iran.

Meanwhile, conservative political activists have joined their reformist counterparts in condemning 227 lawmakers who have called for death sentences for detained protesters.

Wahab Azizi, a conservative activist told Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) on Friday that “The protests are deep-rooted and have several reasons. You cannot attribute them to the actions of enemies. Protests started in 2009 and have continued in different forms since then.”

He added that the parliament and other parts of the Iranian government have still not realized the nature of the protests. He added: “Protests could be handled and controlled quickly if they have only economic or even political causes, but the protests that have cultural and social reasons should be addressed in a convincing way.”

Condemning his colleagues who called for death sentence for detained protesters, Azizi said: “Such uncalculated remarks have created the current crisis in Iran.”

Reformist politician and pundit, Abbas Abdi

Meanwhile reformist commentator Abbas Abdi wrote in a tweet: “The lawmakers who have been elected with a minimum number of votes thanks to the Guardian Counci’s vetting were not expected to behave otherwise.” Abdi was referring to wholesale disqualification of hundreds of candidates in the 2020 parliamentary elections that led to the current hardliner majority in the legislature.

Azizi pointed out that labeling the protests as riots will make no difference in its nature as the denial of a reality will not eliminate it. Trying to sort out the problem by issuing orders will only widen the gap between the people and the regime. “If officials blame the protests on enemy infiltrators, they should know that even if that is true, it is because of their own inefficiency,” Azizi said.

In another development, lawmaker Jalil Rahimi Jahanabadi posted a picture of hardliner newspaper editor Hossein Shariatmadari next to a tweet in which he said, “We should look for infiltrators among the hardliners.” He said Shariatmadari’s recent article in which he called on the police and IRGC to use combat ammunition to shoot protesters was tantamount to pouring gasoline on fire.

Hossein Shariatmadari, the hardliner editor of Kayhan Daily, controlled by the office of the Supreme Leader

Jahanabadi, a member of the Iranian Parliament’s committee for national security, further called on intelligence agencies to keep an eye on the remarks made by hardliners who pretend to be super revolutionaries.

Meanwhile, conservative lawmaker and former intelligence officer Mohammad Hassan Asafari criticized a comment by government Spokesman Ali Bahadori. Speaking at a university earlier this week, Bahadori said that security forces could have easily shot the protesters with combat ammunition rather than hitting them with shotguns.

Asafari advised the spokesman that the situation needs to calm down and his uncalculated remarks had the opposite effect.

The commander of the army’s ground forces, Kiumars Haydari had also made some annoying remarks about harsher measures against the protesters and called them “flies”. Reformist commentator Sadeq Zibakalam told the government spokesman in a tweet on Friday: “Haydari is a military man and does not know about civil society, the law and people’s rights so he calls them flies. But you as someone who has studied law were not expected to threaten the people.”

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