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Is the Iranian Regime on the Verge of Collapse?

Is the Iranian Regime on the Verge of Collapse?

By Mahmoud Hakamian

As the 40th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution approaches, we are also seeing the one-year anniversary of the enormous uprising that spread across Iran during December 2017, that showed the world that regime change in Iran is inevitable.

The various factions of the regime — the hardeners and the so called’ reformists, may cite different aspects of the change, but they all share one goal, the survival and continuation of the status quo.

What does the future have in store for the Islamic Republic in its 40th year?

State-run Mehr News Agency quoted Ahmad Alamolhoda, a senior cleric in Mashhad who is allied with Iran’s Supreme Leader, as saying that “the enemies of the Islamic Republic were laying the ground to implement a new sedition” during the Persian year that starts on March 24, 2019. “The sedition is channeled from the society and may be in the cultural and economic spheres and its origins come from the enemies that want to use this path to achieve their goals,” added Alamolhoda, who heads Friday prayers in Mashhad. He continued, “The enemy is setting up a plot to instigate a sedition in 1398 through the use of personalities. Various groups should not cause the people to give up their support for the system for various reasons.”

Recently, the grandson of the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ruhollah Khomeini, complained that the regime had lost its religious foundations. “Our religion is like a cartoon, and all the proportions have been mixed up.” Seyed Hassan Khomeini added, “Everyone is looking (to use Islam) for business. Everything that people expect of us is not what we read in books. Today we face a society whose expectations go beyond what we read in the books; the problem lies with those who should have taught us this, but did not.” Many other officials agree, and are also concerned that the regime has lost its religious appeal.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ’s Reformists are also concerned for the future. Faezeh Rafsanjani, the daughter of the late former chairman of the Expediency Council, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, said in an interview that the regime only continued to stand “through intimidation” and suppression. Hashemi, who is also a former member of Iran’s parliament, addressed the concerns of the “political elite” about the regime’s collapse saying, “In my opinion, in substance, the collapse has already happened. It’s only the physical collapse that has not happened and I deem it very probable that it will happen.” She added, “In terms of substance, the collapse has already taken place because wherever you look, there is failure. Whatever you address is empty in terms of management and guidance. Everything has been abandoned, and no one is thinking about a solution to the problems. And where there are efforts to solve problems, they only worsen the problems.”

The government’s policy has been one of crackdown and repression of protesters and critics. Therefore, the “possibility of a physical collapse was low in light of the severe pressures and confrontations that had taken place, and the fear” according to Hashemi. Of the turmoil that plagues Iran, she said, “The economic and social problems are increasing day by day. Just to achieve your basic rights, you have pay a big price.” Hashemi states that society is suffering from “anger, depression, despair, indifference and abandonment. “We have a glamorous appearance and an undeveloped and sub-third world essence. This is not a good sign,” she said.

The current secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council, and former Commander of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, Mohsen Rezaie, discussed the regime’s future saying that corruption and the government’s inefficiency might act like a bomb, and lead to an internal collapse. Mehr News Agency cited him saying that “a government could have a powerful appearance, but be falling apart from the inside.”

The regime’s collapse is addressed by statements made by regime officials of both factions, as well as the increasing protests on the streets of Iran. There is not one social group in Iran that is fed up with the regime’s 40 years of suppression and corruption.

New confrontations between the Iranian people and the regime in Tehran ultimately achieve regime change, perhaps as soon as the New Year in Iran.