Recent protests in Iran dealt a significant blow to the regime, particularly to Khamenei’s credibility as the supreme leader. The slogan “Death to Khamenei” was a clear indication of this loss.
As a result, some of the regime’s experts and supporters are now acknowledging the regime’s impending downfall and are distancing themselves from it to avoid the people’s retaliation. Fearing the people’s wrath, they are trying to rebrand themselves as being aligned with the people’s grievances and desire for change.
Recently, Mehdi Nassiri, the former editor of the state-run newspaper Keyhan, who was responsible for the repression and death of many opponents, made some unprecedented remarks during a TV debate.
He directly criticized Khamenei and held him responsible for the country’s misery and the people’s anger toward the regime. This is a rare occurrence in a regime where such criticism is not tolerated.
Regarding the regime’s recent agreement with Saudi Arabia, he expressed skepticism and disdain, stating, “They speak of glory, but what glory? They claim to love the people, but where is this love? You have brought humiliation upon everyone – from the worthless passport to those living in poverty and misery, to those struggling to make ends meet.
Removing Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr’s name from the streets was the ultimate form of humiliation. And what of the eight years of senseless war with Saudi Arabia? Are honor and humiliation concepts foreign to you? Prepare to face even more humiliation.”
Furthermore, he criticized the regime’s policy and support of Russia in its war on Ukraine, saying, “Listen to the speeches of the supreme leader regarding Ukraine. Officially, it was stated that we would not support Russia, send weapons, or interfere.
Stop using politics as a cover for deceit. You supported Putin’s dishonorable aggression against another country and lied about sending weapons. Such actions are unacceptable.”
He continued his criticism of Khamenei by stating, “The leader’s interference extends to the minutiae of both foreign and domestic affairs, including matters as trivial as the selection of moderators and talk shows.
The supreme leader holds complete control over all aspects of the country’s administration and governance.
“It is evident that the Islamic Republic is encountering numerous crises, and despite its governance experience, it has not achieved the people’s felicity or strengthened their faith. In our opinion, the system of the Islamic Republic is neither a republic nor Islamic.
“The present constitution has transformed the system into a dictatorial and oppressive authoritarian regime, and it is regrettable that we are left with no other option but to reconsider this method of governance.”
In addition, a former regime official who is associated with the ‘Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution of Iran Organization’, a fascist faction, launched a verbal assault on Khamenei in an article titled ‘Which Political Transgression is More Blameworthy Than the Prolongation of Ali Khamenei’s Illegitimate and Seizing Reign?’ and said:
“The recent weeks’ events have once again exposed the corrupt and illegitimate nature of the Islamic Republic system and its despotic, power-hungry leader Ali Khamenei, who can offer nothing but oppression and deceit.
However, their falsehoods are no longer convincing anyone, and as a result, they have no option but to resort to brute force and open suppression.”
The speeches made against Khamenei demonstrate the severe impact of the recent protests on the regime, revealing the fear and trepidation that has gripped the entire establishment, including its officials and supporters.