Reformist politicians as well as some conservatives in Iran continue to warn about the serious economic and political crises the Islamic Republic faces in 2023.
Hossein Marashi, the Secretary General of centrist Executives of Construction Party says: "I can say that Iran is on fire, and that this fire will not be extinguished unless various government institutions and their critics move in the direction of serving the country's national interests."
Speaking in an interview with Khabar Online, Marashi maintained that there is no way out of Iran's current crisis other than drafting a "collective national document" upon which everyone can agree. To this end, he said, wise people should be brought back to the country's management and the role of radicals should be limited to the scope of their social influence.
Marashi reiterated that Iran is in an extremely difficult and critical situation. He added that in such a situation, all those who believe in correcting the government's performance based on the existing Constitution and those with higher goals, including the ones who no longer believe in the Islamic Republic are part and parcel of this nation and should be respected.
His remarks follow a statement recently issued by opposition figure and former prime minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who demanded to hold a referendum for a new constitution.
Marashi said the amnesty granted to some protesters was a first step toward this goal. This comes while some activists have said although the government has spoken about pardoning tens of thousands of inmates, only less than 150 of those who have been released as of February 9 were jailed protesters.
Hossein Marashi, the leader of Executives of Construction Party
Meanwhile, Marashi said that the government should stop making decisions by individual players or in small groups of politicians who represent only a minority. All individuals, political parties, and private and public sector activists need to get together to save the country out of trouble.
He summarized some of Iran's problems pointing to a 52-percent inflation rate, an increasing budget deficit, and poor performance of the banks. He said it is a shame that an oil-rich country, which has the world's largest natural gas reserves is selling its properties to maintain the government's operations. This means, he said, that Iran's status has been downgraded.
The party leader added that hardliners pose the most serious threats to Iran. "They are a minoritythat wants Iran to be in constant conflict with the rest of the world while its people are suffering from poverty and sanctions. They do not have any solution for the country's problems and are not entitled to speak for everyone in Iran and their power should be limited to the extent of their real influence in the society. "
Meanwhile, conservative commentator Mohammad Mohajeri has told Nameh News that even some of Iran's hardliner conservatives who previously supported the government of President Ebrahim Raisi no longer want to be associated with it and share the responsibility for its economic, political, social, cultural and foreign policy failures particularly following the current wave of protests in Iran. These conservative supporters have chosen to go their separate ways to ensure their own political survival.
In another development, lawmaker Gholamreza Nouri Ghezelche has predicted that Iranians are likely experience more hardship in the coming months as the government seems to have given up the idea of solving the country's problems. This, he said, was evident in the budget bill the government presented to the parliament.
Ghezelche added that after one and half years in office, Raisi has yet to present a clear roadmap to the parliament, and no one knows where his government is headed. "He made so many promises in the areas of housing, economic growth, employment, fighting corruption and controlling inflation, but none of those promises have been met," he said.