Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and his so-called reformist faction previously promoted the propaganda that all the government’s problems and international challenges would be solved with the removal of Iran’s arms embargo. They did not expect that the population, who are struggling with extreme poverty and poor living conditions, would simply snub their announcements.
On October 14, Rouhani delivered remarks in this context. “From Sunday we can buy weapons from anyone we want and sell them to anyone we want,” he said. But after a week he was forced to step back from this claim as he said:
“The Sunday that our arms embargo was lifted does not only mean that we can buy or sell weapons but more importantly, logic, right, truth, law, and rationality triumphed over coercion and bullying. The Americans have been trying for years to deprive the Iranian nation of its rights, and we have shown that we must achieve our rights, because the Iranian nation must be free in all areas, for example, if it wants to buy or sell weapons,” Entekhab website quoted Rouhani as saying on October 21.
Meanwhile, some elements of the opposite faction mocked these speeches. Mohammad Ali Abtahi in a tweet addressed Rouhani and said: “Dear Dr. Rouhani! Congratulations, you said you can buy guns from Sunday. But by God do not buy them. People are incapable of their daily nourishment.”
The people’s snub was so obvious that some members of the clerical establishment were forced to confess about it. Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh said: “In the era of the Holy Defense (Iran-Iraq war), despite sanctions and dire economic conditions, we saw that whenever there was a victory in foreign policy, people celebrated. But today, due to the departure of some officials from the main principles of the revolution, we are witnessing a kind of indifference among the people towards the end of the arms embargo.”
He added: “It is unfortunate that economic problems have led to the fact that some people also ridicule the issue of lifting economic sanctions and in practice do not pay attention to the success that the government refers to as an achievement.”
In another speech, Rouhani tried to show this achievement as a triumph for his presidency and presenting the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the main cause of this win.
“Ten years of brutal arms embargo will be lifted on Sunday. You know, we fought the United States for four years on this issue, and they knocked on all doors for four years so that October 18 does not happen, but it happened. This is because of the resistance of the people and the efforts of all our officials and diplomats.”
Attacking the rival faction, he said: “Those who are asking what did the JCPOA achieve, this is one of the achievements of the JCPOA: the arms embargo was lifted,” wrote Asr-e-Iran website on October 17.
However, he was unable to hide the reality of Iran’s economic problems as he said: “We know that people are under pressure and hardship and the economic pressure is on them.”
And in nasty action, he expected from the people: “People should also know about political successes in the world, and these successes may even be a mercy to the people to see what the government has done with power and mobility. One of the words of Imam Khomeini, who said that the United States can do a damn thing, was in these days, and the US tried its best but could not do anything,” Asr-e-Iran added.