Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi during his inauguration in August 2021

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi during his inauguration in August 2021

Big Divide Between People, Government In Iran Raises ‘Red Warning’

Saturday, 01/14/2023

Political pundit Mehrdad Lahouti in Tehran says the divide between officials and the people is so serious as if there was a concrete wall between them.

Lahouti also criticized the Iranian government for not communicating with the world in the right way. Referring to the ideological divide between Iran and the international community, He said: "We should communicate with the world while preserving our values." Lahouti added in his interview with Nameh News website that "In an interconnected world, we cannot remain isolated."

Without mentioning the ongoing protests in Iran, Lahouti said: "The current political atmosphere has convinced some Iranian officials that the system of governance should be changed." He added that this s in fact what the Iranian nation is demanding.

Explaining what he means by changing the system of governance, Lahouti said: "First of all, we need to break the international consensus against Iran by communicating with the world. The second point is that we need to reform our economic structure." He explained that the government currently controls 80 percent of the economy, and this means it does not trust the people.

"The same distrust also exists in the political space. The government does not seek the people's views in matters such as accepting the terms of the FATF while the parliament and the Guardian Council are still undecided about that. The same is also true about the JCPOA."

Iranian pundit and politician Mehrdad Lahouti

The Financial Action Task Force is an inter-government financial watchdog that has blacklisted Iran, demanding legal reforms to prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism.

Tehran has dragged its feet since 2017 on passing compatible legislation.

Meanwhile, the secretary general of the reformist Jomhouriat party Rasoul Montajabnia warned the government by saying: "You cannot silence the people by using force against them." Referring to harsh treatment of jailed protesters in Iran, he said, "No one can be convinced by use of force." He reiterated: "By use of force you might be able to silence the people, but you cannot convince them and the fire under the ashes will flare up once again on the smallest pretext."

Montajabnia quoted Iranian officials that hundreds of protesters have been killed and thousands wounded so far, and a lot of damage done to public assets. However, he continued, "The hardest blows were dealt to the prestige and image of the Iranian political system and the Islamic revolution while at the same time, a vast divide was created between officials and the people, particularly the Iranian youth."

Iranian 'reformist' politician Rasoul Montajabnia

"People's religious beliefs also received a hard blow, and the resulting suspicion of the government's intentions can be hardly compensated for," the reformist figure said.

Referring to the country's current all-conservative political establishment, Montajabnia charged that "A particular gang has taken over the political system by pushing everyone else aside and dividing the people into outsiders and insiders."

A report on Khabar Online website also referred to this divide and asked Expediency Council Ahmad Tavakoli about prospects. Tavakoli issued a "red warning" to the government about this divide and said that the poor might take over the streets.

Khabar Online also quoted Iranian economist Mohammad Khoshchehreh as saying that the current situation is the outcome of the regime's miscalculation in its attempt to concentrate power with conservatives. He said: "Some Iranian politicians believe that people can be controlled better when they are poor. When they are better off they begin to question the government. Now a majority of Iranians have become poor. Part of the middle class has disappeared. Only one fourth of Iranians can afford buying milk. These are serious threats that cannot be ignored."

He added that generally, the pattern of economic growth and development in Iran has become problematic and the system cannot go any further before these problems are solved.

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