Residents protesting in Mehabad, Iran, on November 9, 2022

Residents protesting in Mehabad, Iran, on November 9, 2022

No One Can Stop Majority Of Dissatisfied Iranians, Says Politician

Wednesday, 03/22/2023

A prominent centrist politician in Iran says at least 75 percent of the population is unhappy about the government's performance and the prevailing situation.

Saying this, Executives of Construction Party leader Hossein Marashi told the party's newspaper Sazandegi that "If dissidents decide to take to the streets, no one can stop them."

Marashi's remarks corroborates the statements of several other Iranian politicians as well as the results of many studies since September when the nationwide protests started and continued relentlessly for over four months, with occasional flare-ups in recent weeks.

Opinion surveys and commentators say that Iranians are unhappy because of the deep economic crisis, lack of social freedoms and no opportunity to shape elections.

Marashi warned that his party will not take part in any elections as long as the government does not acknowledge the need for true reforms. He added that the Islamic republic should not merely rely on its staunch supporters. It should instead garner support from the majority of Iranians.

He said elections under current circumstances cannot bring about reforms. The government should attach more priority to reforming the election process.

Hossein Marashi leader of a centrist party in Iran

The politician was referring to the last two elections in 2020 and 2021 when most candidates were barred from running and only selected loyalists were allowed to register.

Meanwhile, Marashi admitted that reformists and moderates did harm to the country by insisting on former President Hassan Rouhani's re-election in the 2017 without demanding his full commitment to reforms.

Several studies in the past months, including one that was conducted by the National Security Monitor Magazine said that most Iranians wanted a change in governance. The magazine's research also concluded that the government's interference in social and cultural matters such as women's dress code and lifestyle will increase people’s distrust in the government.

Another study conducted in December 2022 revealed very similar attitudes between those in the country and abroad. “In response to the question “Islamic Republic: Yes or No?” 81% of respondents inside the country responded “No” to the Islamic Republic, 15% responded “Yes,” and 4% were not sure. Of the Iranian respondents abroad, 99% responded “No,” opting against the Islamic Republic,” the Netherlands-based GAMAAN Polling Agency reported.

While the political impasse inside Iran and the international diplomatic deadlock over Tehran's nuclear program continue, inflation and prices have been rising causing further dissatisfaction. According to Etemad Online, the price of ghee has a had a 288 percent increase and beef rose by 133 percent between March 2022 and March 2023.

The report by Etemad Onlie also showed a 125% rise in the price of lamb meat, while the price of onions had a 250% hike during the same period. Other prices rose as 82% for eggs, 89% for fish, 78% for rice and cheese.

This comes while the authorities and representatives of government-controlled labor unions reached an agreement on minimum wages for the new that started March 21, giving just a 28-percent raise while inflation is well above 50 percent.

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