In an interview with Iran’s state-run news website Ensaf News on November 1, ‘reformism theorist Saeed Hajjarian pointed out the Islamic Republic’s growing fury over the upcoming protests. He also expressed his own opinion as a ‘reformist’ over the current theocracy, its performance, and fate in Iran.
Hajjarian described the religious dictatorship as a patient with malignant cancer. He believes there is no treatment, and its days have been ticking. “Look at the newly appointed governors; it seems that they are getting ready for a full-fledged war,” said Hajjarian.
Hajjarian: Fanatic Regime Cannot Be Reformed
“Reformists believe that the government is unlikely to resolve the country’s dilemmas due to the current officials, cabinet, and ‘Revolutionary’ Parliament [Majlis]. However, they wait until their domestic dispute erupts… Indeed, the people are suffering from imprudence, mismanagement, and accumulation of crises,” said Hajjarian.
Hajjarian also mentioned that the establishment could not ignore these dilemmas. He tried to lay the blame on ‘principalist’ figures, who represent the view of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. “The [Ebrahim Raisi] government also has its own procedure. [Current officials] do not hear the voice for reform as they should,” he added.
Furthermore, Hajjarian expressed his concerns over the Islamic Republic’s bleak future and the repetition of nationwide protests. “From now on, protests would be like demonstrations erupted by gas incidents, meaning the November 2019 protests. [Officials] intend to reduce or remove hidden subsidies.”
“On the other hand, this year’s budget deficits are equivalent to the same budget, meaning it would bring more inflation. If they remove the fuel, foodstuff, and water subsidies, they will see how inflation will soar. How should the people live?” Hajjarian questioned the government’s financial policies, declaring his worry about the upcoming protests.
“When the situation becomes dire, no choice remains. Our Foreign Minister [Hossein Amir-Abdollahian] has requested $5 billion. It is nothing in comparison to our needs for billions of dollars.”
Hajjarian pointed out Tehran’s weak position and the public hatred against the ayatollahs regarding the government’s regional crises. “We are not stuck in Syria. Anyhow, [Bashar] Assad was kept in power but at a massive cost. Currently, our relations with the entire Arab world have been destroyed. Arab people hate Iran extremely. Syria was destructed, and they say, ‘This is up to you.’”
Hajjarian: Some Say the State Is the Actual Pest
Speaking to Ensaf News, Hajjarian described the government’s conditions as fragile. “The Islamic Republic still has enough authority to remain in power. However, the people are far away from the state. Distrust has become too much. Self-concession and trust have been reduced.”
He also admitted that the government’s social capital is leaking, underlining an opinion raised by former Majlis Speaker Mehdi Karroubi, who was put under house arrest following the 2009 protests. “Some ‘reformists’ believe the state is plagued,” Hajjarian said.
“Imagine someone who has cancer, and cancer has improved. Physicians constantly told her/him, ‘Follow instruments to be healed.’ However, the patient neglected the instructions and did nothing. He is now on the verge of death. Are his efforts profitable? Sometimes, the blight reaches a level it can no longer be reformed.”
The former intelligence officer ironically compared reformism with revolution. “Revolution and reform are not separated issues. Reform means repairing in a long-term period while revolution is equivalent to repairing within a short-term period,” Hajjarian said.
He also blamed Raisi for baseless promises and advertising travels across the country. “Currently, Raisi travels various areas and gives promises. This is bad; he cannot continue after some while. Later, [people] ask what happened to your promises? [Former President] Mahmoud [Ahmadinejad] had dollars; he was spending money during his travels. Raisi doesn’t have money. The current situation differs from Ahmadinejad’s era,” Hajjarian concluded.