There is a multitude of crises facing the Iranian regime right now and there’s no way for the mullahs to escape them, except possibly with the miracle of a high voter turnout at the presidential election, which is why officials are heralding the June vote as highly important.
Despite how important it is to the continued existence of the regime, there’s still no serious candidate with just five weeks to go and infighting is increasing between the warring (but realistically identical) factions.
Last week, an audio recording of foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif surfaced, in which he admits that the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) direct regime policy to a major degree, particularly for foreign affairs, including that of Iran-backed terror proxies.
In response, those from the so-called hardliner factions condemned Zarif, even though Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei warned in March that it would be dangerous to publicly fight close to the election.
In an interview with the regime’s television, government expert Fouad Izadi called the release of the Zarif tape a blow to the clerical regime, saying: ‘In the United States in particular, we have two currents: Those who are anti-Iranian and those who are more anti-Iranian, and the more severe anti-Iranian current was very happy, because they said the same things from the beginning as saying: ‘Look, an Iranian official has also repeated our words’, so it was not a small blow to the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic’.” (Iran’s State-TV May 3, 2021)
Of course, infighting and an election boycott are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the regime’s problems. In fact, one of these issues – the economic catastrophe – is a contributing factor for infighting and the boycott.
Abas Akhundi, the former Minister of Roads and Urban Development of the regime, admitted in an article: The election atmosphere is very cold and the majority of the society has chosen to be silent.
“One of the reasons for this is the chronic inflation with an average above 18 percent for more than 50 years, negative investment growth for ten years, low or negative growth and near to zero of the economy for two decades, high unemployment rate, especially of the women, youth and the educated class. A persistent real deficit of over 50% of the budget in recent years.” (State-run website, Khabar Online, May 4, 2021)
While, yes, the pandemic is partially responsible for the financial problems, much more can be attributed to the regime’s policies. Rather than use the ill-gotten gains the regime already controls to help the people during this time, the mullahs preferred to continue throwing money into the nuclear program and terrorist proxies.
No wonder the Iranian people are furious; so furious in fact that people from every job sector have been taking to the streets in protest for the past four months. On International Workers Day (May 1), Iranian workers rallies in over 20 cities to chant slogans like “We will not rest until we achieve our rights”, which shows how serious they are about systematic change.
Trouble is, that change will not come from inside the regime. The mullahs and the state-run media, knowing this, are warning of a precarious situation that could see them swept from power.
The Bulletin Rouz website wrote Sunday: “People and youths are active on the daily basis in demonstrations, strikes, writings on the walls, burning governmental institutions, and installing posters of Maryam Rajavi and Massoud Rajavi in public places.”
Indeed, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran’s (PMOI/MEK) Resistance Units has been setting up anti-regime campaigns in 250 areas of 27 provinces in April alone. This is making the regime desperate and liable to fatal mistakes.