However, these crises are a reflection of the society’s wrath against the ruling system and the highest official, being the supreme leader. These days, and after Khamenei himself ordered the bloody crackdown against the 2019 November protests, public hatred has spiked against Khamenei’s regime in its entirety.
The Root of All Internal and External Crises of the Iranian Regime
According to the Iranian regime’s constitution, the Islamic Republic is summarized in the principle of Velayat-e Faqih [the supreme leader] and who currently holds this position, being Ali Khamenei.
In this respect, the supreme leader directly involves himself in all crucial issues of the country. In addition, he is responsible for all stalemates and collapses that Iran is engulfed in.
In recent years, frequent protests proved that socioeconomic and sociopolitical problems have culminated to a point of no return. Authorities’ remarks and state-run media’s talking points underline this truth.
Notably, a new round of infighting among different factions has begun given the remaining period to the scheduled parliamentary elections. On the other hand, widespread disqualification of current members of parliament and rival candidates by the Khamenei-controlled Guardian Council directed internal crises into Khamenei’s destabilized role and function even among his supporters.
Ambiguity, Doubt, and Concerns about the Regime’s Future
On January 23, former deputy interior minister Mostafa Tajzadeh referred the country’s current problems to the structure of the constitution and the Velayat-e Faqih principle. “The velayat-e Faqih should not have been included in the constitution,” he said in a session titled “Was the Islamic Republic inevitable?”
Afterward, Tajzadeh compared the regime’s state with a person who suffers from an acute decease. “When every wise man realizes that he cannot survive without surgery, he accepts the operation… The fact is [our] system has arrived at a [irreversible] point out that it cannot continue without major surgeries. The most important surgery is reforming the constitution,” he added.
“I believe that we should tell the people that if we don’t correct our constitution after the passing of 40 years, our problems won’t be resolved. This is more important than our participation or non-participation in the next parliament,” Tajzadeh continued as other prominent leaders of the so-called reformist movement made similar remarks in the same session.
In response, pro-Khamenei factions directed official websites and state-run T.V. networks to defend Khamenei’s authority. However, the intensity and increase of this argument show that the supreme leader has become the focal point of infighting among different regime sectors.
“Not defending [the supreme leader] is the first sign of political hypocrisy… The second sign is insulting him,” Hossein Rashidian said specifically in the Friday prayer sermon of January 24 while acknowledging defection among Khamenei’s supporters and insults targeting him.
Additionally, state-run T.V. broadcasted a televised program displaying several clerics’ hatred against Khamenei. “Several clerics don’t defend the leadership and claim, ‘I don’t have an appropriate qualification,’” Elahirad said in the mentioned televised program.
Subsequently, he tried to justify Khamenei’s silence toward the crucial problems in society like skyrocketing prices, unemployment, and other impasses. “They ask, ‘why doesn’t Khamenei engage [in crucial issues]?’ If the leadership engaged in each issue, don’t people say, ‘you are dictators?’” he said.
The fact is that the Iranian regime, after 40 years of crimes and corruption, has failed in all strategic capacity and under the pressures of the people and their rightful demands on the one hand, and international pressures on the other to abide by global regulations deals with a complex dilemma.
It should make key decisions about the fate of the religious dictatorship. However, in any path, the continuation of the people’s demonstrations, which revived in January once again even after killing 1,500 protesters during the November protests, demonstrates the real desire of the Iranian population who will not accept anything less than the toppling of the entire regime.