Mostafa Pourmohammadi, a former deputy intelligence minister of Iran

Former Minister Warns Of ‘Low Satisfaction’ Among Iranians

Sunday, 07/30/2023

Iran’s former deputy intelligence minister, a conservative cleric, has told a hardliner website in Tehran that the people are dissatisfied, and this could lead to voter apathy.

Mostafa Pourmohammadi, who served as interior minister and justice minister in two different administrations, expressed his concern on Saturday regarding the upcoming March 2024 parliamentary elections. Speaking to Javan newspaper, an outlet affiliated with Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Pourmohammadi highlighted the issue of "low satisfaction" among the people, which he believes could lead to voter apathy.

Iranian conservatives have been grudgingly acknowledging that the economic crisis gripping Iran for the past five years has worsened under hardliner president Ebrahim Raisi and as a result the regime’s legitimacy might suffer.

The country witnessed significant anti-government protests between September 2022 and early 2023, reflecting a surge of anger at both political repression and escalating poverty. Even Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei faced derogatory slogans from protesters on the streets and university campuses, indicating the widespread discontent. 

“People themselves should be interested to participate in the elections, and this depends on the level of their satisfaction…We must analyze the situation realistically. Today, popular satisfaction has declined, and many government entities are responsible,” Pourmohammadi stated. However, he only singled out the Raisi administration and did not mention other centers of power.

The former intelligence minister also warned that “The young generation has distanced itself from us.” He underlined that “Low [election] turnout is a defeat for all of us,” referring to groups and individuals who support the Islamic Republic.

Security forces killed more than 500 civilians in the 2022-2023 protests and arrested more than 20,000. Hundreds received permanent injuries, including young people who lost one or both eyes to shotgun pellets fired by security forces. The harsh government reaction further eroded the public’s tolerance toward the regime.

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