The people of Iran have been dealing with the aftermath of torrential rain and huge storms that have resulted in flash flooding. Large parts of the country have been affected by the torrents of water and a large number of people have died. Houses have been destroyed, villages and towns have been cut off from the rest of civilisation, livelihoods have been swept away and clean water supplies are scarce. Electricity has been cut and people are taking refuge on the top of buildings to get away from the water.
The people of Iran are angry. Not just because the Iranian regime has failed to help the people, but also because it is the regime’s destructive policies that have worsened the impact of the heavy rainfall. For years, the regime has been over constructing and removing flood barriers. Deforestation has also worsened the consequences.
Earlier this week, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed top-level civilian officials for not anticipating the floods. He implied that they should have been able to prepare for the worst. The Supreme Leader said that any construction near rivers should have never happened and that deforestation should have been banned. He said that before the rainfall and storms hit, the dams and rivers should have been dredged.
However, his criticism is ironic. He is the Supreme Leader – the person with most power in the country. He is the one that is ultimately responsible for this crisis. He is arguably the most corrupt in the whole of the corrupt leadership.
Why is the Supreme Leader trying to pass the blame when he is the one that can hire or fire any single person in the leadership as he sees fit?
The entire leadership is falling to pieces in Iran. It is at its weakest point and it is verging on collapse. The people’s anger is palpable. Before the floods hit, the people’s anger was already evident – but this new crisis has been the final straw for many. And Khamenei knows this. That is why security forces were sent to the streets to prevent public gatherings.
In another attempt to prevent public anger from spilling out, the Supreme Leader said that the assistance given to those affected by the floods has been “outstanding” and he called on officials to take measures that would “solve the problems of those who have suffered losses”.
The people will not be fooled. They have already been critical of the regime’s response and they know that it is completely incapable of doing anything to help them. Instead of even allowing the true impact of the flooding be known, regime officials have been downplaying the damage and loss of human life and dismissing the gravity of the situation.
Since the end of 2017, millions of Iranians have been striking, holding anti-government rallies and participating in protests. They made it very clear that they will accept nothing less than regime change, and crises like these where the regime is showcasing its inability to respond in the way it should will only make their resolve stronger.