For some time now, Iran’s government figures and state media have been acknowledging that the situation is not normal, and that they have become increasingly concerned over the regime’s abnormality, especially after the protests in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchistan.
What stands out in their statements is their fear of an uprising by the people and the warning of its occurrence. Such statements are so severe that President Hassan Rouhani was forced to call for unity: “As long as oppression is the life of the people, the dignity of the people and the prestige of the people, we are still in the first steps of this path. Let’s help each other and hold each other’s hands.” (State TV, March 10, 2021)
Indeed, in the current situation of the society, what is the situation that has caused this concern and panic?
The answer to this question was given by the governor of Sistan and Baluchistan in a gathering of government officials in Zahedan. He said: “Regarding the country’s current situation (i.e. the regime’s situation), you all know it better than me, the country is not in normal conditions.”
He was forced to warn about the consequences of factional disputes and said: “If we quarrel, we will fail in the face of the enemy, this incident (Saravan Uprising), will surely take the sleep of all those who are sympathetic. If you do not separate the line and the people do not separate, it will create chaos, which means that they will burn dry and wet together, as the Saravan incident showed.” (State TV Hamoun Channel, March 10, 2021)
He was worried that protests like in Saravan would spread in other cities like and said: “We should not correct everything with imprisonment, flogging, punishment and all that. What is the use of constantly imprisoning and flogging?” (State TV Channel 2, March 10, 2021)
The state-run Jahan-e-Sanat newspaper on March 10, 2021 acknowledged the following conditions and wrote:
“This gap from the highest to the lowest that exists between the level of income and wages of more than eighty percent of Iran’s population of eighty and several million and their purchasing power with the 10-15 percent of the rest of the country, or the very huge and annoying difference between living conditions and the housing of the residents of the outskirts of Tehran and the slums of these areas with luxury rates and expensive villas in the upper areas of the city and Lavasan can be seen, and very expensive foreign cars that prosperous residents of these areas and their children ride and roam on the streets of Tehran are obvious symbols of this distance, which speak about a deep and terrible class difference in today’s Iranian society.
“The physical distance between the suburbs of southern Tehran and Lavasan may not be more than 50 km, but the distance between the living faces of these two parts of Iran, that is, the slums of the southern suburbs of Tehran with the inhabitants of the villas and dream palaces of Lavasan and northern Tehran is so great that it cannot be measured with any tools.”
This explosive situation that terrified officials and led them to the conclusion that the situation is not only not normal, but is extremely critical and has the potential to spark another uprising.