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In Iran, the People Compete With the Government, “Reformist” Says

Today, Iran regime's officials can no longer deny the public’s uproar against more than four decades of relentless suppression, systematic corruption, and hypocritical policies.
Today, Iran regime's officials can no longer deny the public’s uproar against more than four decades of relentless suppression, systematic corruption, and hypocritical policies.

In an interview with the ILNA news agency on May 2, Hossein Marashi, the Secretary-General of Executives of the Construction Party and former MP from Kerman province, acknowledged the Iranian people’s growing hatred and fury against the Iranian regime.

He stated, “I told Mr. President [Ebrahim Raisi], ‘Your success is our wish… In the past, we were your rivals, and we will remain your rivals in the future. However, we wish you success because neither you nor your ‘conservative’ movement is our rivals. Our rival is the Iranian people’s disappointment and frustration.”

Marashi highlighted that society’s volcanic status erupted when Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei chose to appoint Raisi as the regime’s president, a man infamous for the mass killing of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, to quell constant protests and uprisings.

Today, regime officials can no longer deny the public’s uproar against more than four decades of relentless suppression, systematic corruption, and hypocritical policies. Indeed, the people of Iran have continued their struggle for fundamental freedoms, basic rights, and a decent life for 43 years, during which time they have always faced merciless crackdowns on their cries and the pursuit of their rightful desires.

Marashi pointed out the country’s dire economic situation, which has prompted citizens to protest and participate in anti-establishment activities. He said, “We suggested that the president consider two issues to improve people’s living conditions, including the control of inflation, and reviving the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).”

He added, “The control of inflation—which Raisi declared has reached 40 percent—is the government’s most important challenge.”

Who Is Frustrated? The People or the State?

Marashi stated that he had only four minutes to speak with Raisi, so he expressed his primary concerns, highlighting the “People’s disappointment and frustration!” In recent years, regime officials have frequently attributed people’s protests to disappointment, while the people have obviously declared their hope for removing tyranny.

During rallies outside the education department in Shiraz, the capital of the southcentral province of Fars, on May 1, teachers chanted, “Prison is not a place for teachers; Iran is not a place for tyrants.”

In his interview, Marashi greatly downplayed the Iranian people’s desire for fundamental political, social, and economic changes beyond the current ruling system. He described the people’s protests and uprisings as ‘disappointment and frustration’, while the regime’s response to the people’s rightful demands was ‘only’ suppression, detention, torture, and execution.

On April 28, the regime attacked peaceful protesters in Saravan village, in the northern province of Gilan, with birdshot and tear gas. Locals were merely rejecting trucks unloading waste in their village, as they were seeking to keep their natural environment and family members safe.

On November 25, 2021, anti-riot forces heinously attacked peaceful farmers at the basin of the Zayandehroud river in Isfahan. Thousands of farmers rallied and camped for several days and nights on the dried riverbed, protesting the officials’ mismanagement and plundering policies.

In response to the protests, authorities viciously cracked down on the defenseless farmers with pellet guns, directly targeting protesters’ eyes and leaving at least 70 people blind. The regime’s forces also torched tents and detained several farmers. In response, farmers chanted anti-regime slogans and resisted for a few hours.

Marashi Admits to Iran’s Dire Economic Conditions

Marashi has also revealed that he had warned Raisi about the country’s dire economic conditions during their brief meeting. It appears that his warnings received no attention, pushing him to raise his opinions publicly.

He stated, “The control of inflation is the government’s most important challenge. Official statistics show the monetary base and liquidity have increased by 31 and 40 percent, respectively, in the past year. These statistics indicate that the people must burden above-35-percent inflation this year.”

Observers believe that Marashi raised these details to sound alarm bells. They said, “He knows Raisi cannot realize his means given his lack of academic education. These warnings are due to soaring prices and rampant inflation in the country, and the regime’s loyalists are truly expressing their concerns over looming protests.”

Marashi also mocked Raisi’s baseless orders and oppressive measures to quell financial turmoil. He said, “You cannot manage prices by implementing harsh punishments, ordering economic experts, or dispatching inspectors to markets if you fail to control inflation.”

Recent reports broadcasted that the Raisi cabinet has removed Mohsen Rezaei, the Vice President for Financial Affairs, and Seyyed Sowlat Mortazavi, the Vice President for Executive Affairs, from Raisi’s economic team. However, these attempts at trying to control the country’s economy have not dwindled people’s economic dilemmas.

Instead, the country’s financial difficulties have been exaggerated while people continue to face ‘essential’ price hikes. For instance, people in various provinces have witnessed the price of bread increase greatly.

In recent weeks, several citizens have posted videos on social media to highlight just how expensive certain items are, such as cooking oil bottles, while cursing Khamenei and other high-ranking officials for their financial failures. However, these videos are not the whole story, and they are only the beginning breezes of a sociopolitical hurricane.