During their recent Friday prayer congregations, Iranian prayer leaders have expressed their fears of an uprising on the horizon due to the current socio-economic crises in Iran, as well as highlighting the regime’s fear of their opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The congregations are often used as a platform to state the regime’s official policies in regards to the country’s current issues.
The Friday prayer leaders are carefully handpicked and in effect act as the mouthpiece of the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Khamenei’s representative from Kerman, Hassan Alidadi spoke about the MEK, claiming that their movement ‘instigated street riots and clashed with the system’ at the beginning of the 1979 revolution.
Reza Noury, another of Khamenei’s representatives who are based in the Khorasan province, spoke about how a number of uprisings over the years have created huge challenges in Iran, with the 2009 uprising causing the system to collapse.
He said, “This sedition [a term the regime uses for uprisings] caused us many damages, and many [of the regime’s] sacred institutions and individuals were questioned.”
Seyed Hashem Bushehri, Khamenei’s representative from Qom, stated that the MEK ‘sought to instigate protests and have people topple the regime’. He discussed three methods that the MEK supposedly use to drive forward this campaign.
He said, “The first method, the maximum pressure, was their economic leverage. They also had political and intelligence methods to cause riots in Iran. The media started their propaganda, and they continue.”
In a discussion about Iran’s current socio-economic crises, and the unrest they have caused within society, Bushehri warned the regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi of the Iranian peoples’ expectations in regards to the 2022 budget.
He said, “…people have expectations about the rampant inflation, decrease of salaries, national currency’s value and their purchasing power, and their business problems as well as the banking system’s issues.”
In a statement from Khamenei’s representative in Birjand, Mehdi Rahim-Abadi, he accused the MEK of trying to aggravate Iranian society’s economic and living problems. He also warned that with the prospect of a fast-approaching uprising on the horizon, that it will become a war and won’t be easy to resolve.
Such warnings will have very little impact, if any, on resolving the irremediable crises facing the regime, especially in view of the appalling conditions millions of Iranians must endure, not least extreme poverty, starvation, and lack of adequate welfare and social services. These, coupled with endemic corruption, ineptitude, and mismanagement, will only fuel further anger and pave the way for more uprisings in the near term.