An influential conservative in Iran claims that hardliners who are purging others from the political landscape are so few that they couldn't even fill two buses.
Mansur Haqiqatpur, the former deputy chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security Committee, stated in an interview with Rouydad24 in Tehran, "Despite their small numbers, these ultraconservatives have seized control of all government institutions."
Referring to their widespread influence and their “irresponsible behavior,” Haqiqatpur emphasized that the nation, the media, and politicians should hold the ultraconservatives accountable for their destructive performance.
A few dozen hardliners in parliament and in President Ebrahim Raisi’s administration have increasingly resorted to eliminating others from the government bureaucracy and even universities, accusing some of insufficient “revolutionary” credentials.
The moderate conservative politician stated, "What we refer to as political purification today has always existed since the 1979 revolution; however, the trend aiming to limit political power to ultraconservatives has gained renewed momentum in recent years."
He suggested that everyone, including the hardliners, should realize that Iran belongs to all Iranians, and political purification will disappoint young Iranians who wish to play an active role in determining the fate of their country. Meanwhile, Haqiqatpur added, "We should not try to eliminate critics. It is unfair to hand over the entire affairs of the state to a group so small that they couldn't fill a couple of buses."
He criticized the government for suspending capable professors from universities and replacing them with non-experts. He reiterated that political purification is poison for the country and lamented that Gen. Hossein Alaei, the former commander of the IRGC naval force, is not allowed to teach at the university due to his reformist tendencies.
Meanwhile, prominent conservative commentator Nasser Imani stated in an interview that the influence of those pretending to be revolutionaries is a cause for concern. He said the rising influence of fake revolutionaries and the isolation of experts in the Iranian academia pose a threat to the country.
Imani added that the fake revolutionaries claim that anyone other than themselves is not a revolutionary. Khabar Online reported that, according to Imani, a group of individuals who see themselves as super-revolutionaries have infiltrated Iran's executive body and the country's propaganda machine.
However, Imani stated that Iranians' behavior in the upcoming parliamentary elections in March will show whether they will stand against these totalitarian ultraconservatives or tolerate their presence in state institutions. Imani also noted that the ultraconservatives do not attach any significance to public opinion, evident in the behavior of the state television that they control, which ignores people's demands and preferences for more open and balanced media.
Imani encouraged other conservatives to stand against the hardliners. Like Haqiqatpur, Imani confirmed that, compared to the large body of the conservative camp, the ultraconservatives are only a small group of politicians seeking to monopolize political power. He added that true conservatives should shun and isolate this vocal minority.
In another development, Iranian lawmaker Ali Rezaei told the press that Raisi’s ultraconservative government continues to blame others for the problems it has created or failed to solve. Blaming others, including the previous government, for problems, is not acceptable now that the parliament has only nine months left in its term, and the government has been in office for over two years.
Rezaei added that people can hardly believe that the dire economic situation of the country is likely to improve because of the government’s and parliament's performance. "Years ago, the people's problem was how to buy a house or a car. Now, the people's daily concern is how to feed themselves," he said.