With the presence of the Iranian regime’s new government, which has become a collection of the most vicious elements of this regime from its new president Ebrahim Raisi, who is infamous as the butcher of Tehran, to the new appointments of the new ministers who are mostly chosen from the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), something strange is happening which is not unexpected.
The number of secret sessions of the 11th parliament is increasing day by day. From budget to foreign policy and even pricing for steel is all behind closed doors. Only three closed-door meetings have been held in the last two weeks.
And all this happens in a parliament that has come to power from the very beginning with the claim of being crystal clear and to fight government corruption. The situation has become so bad that even the regime’s MPs have raised their voices against it.
According to Article 69 of the regime’s constitution, parliamentary negotiations should be made public, and the full report should be made public through the official radio and newspaper, and only in an emergency, if the country’s security is in danger, a closed session will be held at the request of the President or one of the ministers or 10 representatives.
But these days, the circle of secret sessions seems to be constantly expanding. From the pre-review meetings of the vote of confidence and financial proximity of the proposed Minister of Petroleum to even the plan to protect the rights of users in cyberspace to the review of the 2021 budget with the presence of the head of the Planning and Budget Organization, the subtraction of the 2020 budget with the presence of Mehrdad Bazrpash, the head of the Audit Court and even the approval of the Judicial Commission on the confidentiality of the officials’ property are all held in secrecy and behind closed doors and the people are not aware what is going in the regime’s parliament.
This governing parliament whose members mostly stem from the regime’s principlist faction has started its work with the slogan of transparency and one of its claims was the transparency of delegates’ votes, a fake plan that is announced every week but has been never implemented.
The question is what does the regime fear that it is implementing so many secret sessions?
Last week, a closed-door meeting with the head of the Planning and Budget Organization about next year’s budget was held. Regime’s MPs later presented a report on the contents of the closed-door meeting, but ultimately it was not clear why the budget meeting should be held in secret.
At the same time, one of the MP’s reported a 50 percent budget deficit, probably one of the reasons for the secret meeting, which is indicating the regime’s extreme critical situation.
After that, the 2020 budget subtraction session was held in secret. Observers believe the closed-door natures of the session were to hide the corruption and waste of the country’s resources by the regime.
At the time of the vote of confidence in the cabinet, parliament held two closed sessions, one before a closed-door vote of confidence, and one at the same time examining Elias Naderan’s claims about some financial issues raised about Javad Oji, the option for the Oil Ministry, where parliament held a brief closed session.
Naderan had said in an open meeting of the vote of confidence that, given the inquiry I got from the competent authorities, it became clear that Oji had nine (private) possessions, so one should think about someone who says so explicitly contrary. It was then that, at the request of the 11th Parliamentarians, a closed-door hearing was held to investigate Naderan’s claims.
Parliament held a closed-door meeting with the head of the IRGC Qods Force Esmail Qaani after the events in Afghanistan and the Taliban came to power. The plan to protect the rights of users in cyberspace was also held behind closed doors which were held to vote for the withdrawal of the plan from article 85 and did not vote in the second time in open session. Therefore, the plan to protect the rights of users in cyberspace following Article 85 of the Joint Commission will be secretly approved and implemented.
Parliament has even held closed sessions for steel pricing. Last year, a spokesman for the Parliamentary Board of Directors announced an hour-long closed-door meeting on issues of the Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade. At that meeting, the Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade’s plan for steel pricing was reviewed.
The last one, about the desire for confidentiality, which has manifested itself in the parliament’s resolutions, was the approval of the Parliamentary Judiciary Commission on the non-publication of the authorities’ property.
The answer to the previous question that what the regime is fearing most in this period is simple: the regime is facing a fragile security situation, therefore it is forced to hide its weaknesses from others, especially the people. The regime understands soon or later it will face massive protests like November 2019, therefore it is hopelessly doing everything to delay such events.