Iranian politician Hojjat Mirzaei, a former economic official, has characterized President Ebrahim Raisi's team as "the weakest of its kind in the past 80 years."
In an interview with moderate news website Khabar Online on Saturday, December 17, Mirzaei further said that the Raisi government’s plan to create "a paradise" with reliance on China and Russia has turned out to be an illusion. A very good paradise was how the president’s budget people earlier described the future of Khamenei's Looking East policy and Iran's cooperation with China and Russia.
Earlier, conservative commentator Mohammad Mohajeri had also called the Raisi administration "the weakest government in Iran's history." It appears that the view is shared by most of Islamic Republic political factions. Most recently, reformist cleric Mohammad Ashrafi Esfahani called the Raisi administration "the weakest government in Iran after the 1979 revolution."
Like Mirzaei, Ashrafi Esfahani further added that Iranians are in desperation as they have lost their hopes of a better future because of the poor performance of the Raisi administration. He said: "It is obvious that the people's financial situation will worsen, and their hopes will fade away when the government replaces experienced officials with those who have no outstanding background or experience.
He was clearly referring to the make-up of the government, which is stacked with less experienced hardliners loyal to the Revolutionary Guard and Iran’s ruler Ali Khamenei.
On Saturday, former Iranian Interior Minister Abdollah Nouri also said that "The Islamic Republic has reached a dead-end." He added that most independent observers in Iran are against the course the Islamic Republic pursues, but all the decisions in the country are being made by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and that is causing the impasse as no one listens to the majority of Iranians.
Khabar Online website in Tehran wrote that Raisi's slogans have not led to anything tangible. He promised to restore the battered currency rial, but in his 16 months in power the rial has fallen by nearly 50 percent, leading to fears to hyper-inflation.
Mirzaei argued that although the government is weak, but personnel changes will not help it much. "Iran's international relations and the structure of the government are the main problems," he said, adding that "the government should strive to revive the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) and enact laws demanded by the international financial watchdog, the FATF, while also improving its ties with Iran's neighbors."
Mirzaei added that the most important jobs for the government is to introduce transparency, to control financial corruption and to pursue good governance. He maintained that "none of these have happened and it appears that there has been no will in Iran since 2017 to improve the situation. Hardliners have prevented the revival of the JCPOA before Raisi’s election and portrayed the former government as inefficient. These situation led to major protests in 2017 and 2019, and the latest presidential election in Iran in 2021 made the situation even worse."
The politician quipped that "While the situation is getting worse, Raisi is constantly talking about the train of progress."
However, it is not just Raisi who appears to be out of touch with the realities on the ground. Khamenei has also said on various occasions that foreigners have instigated the ongoing protests as they aim to stop Iran's progress.