In recent months, the Iranian people have dramatically increased their protests against their theocratic rulers across the country. They flagrantly announce their disappointment over officials’ mismanagement, corruption, and hazardous decisions. “We have reached the end of the line” citizens from different classes commonly say in various cities and towns.
For many years, officials in Iran attribute all dilemmas and difficulties to foreigners. They brag about their scientific progress on the one hand and justify their inabilities by blaming other countries. However, the experience of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and billions of dollars afforded to the ayatollahs proved that there is a domestic barrier in front of the nation before anything else.
“The situation in our country will not improve, and our (economic) problems will not be solved because the main reason for our problems is internal. Even if it rains gold, but we do not enjoy meritocracy and the rule of law, nothing will be solved,” said Javad Mansouri, the first commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in an interview with the IRGC-controlled Fars news agency on December 9, 2013.
Furthermore, on August 13, 2018, Daily News quoted the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as saying, “The country’s economic problems were the result of internal mismanagement by the government and not just because of the U.S. pressure.”
In other words, systematic corruption is the main obstacle that has barred the people of Iran from prosperity and progression. This phenomenon has hijacked the country’s fate and left a weak and brittle economy based on money laundering, embezzlement, and nepotism.
“You have created a field… Iran’s economy runs on a corrupt field… It is full of non-transparency and corruption,” said Abbas Akhoundi, the former Minister of Roads and Urban Development, in a TV program.
Meanwhile, state-run media highlight the international isolation and domestic social hatred as the aftermath of corruption and money laundering. “Recent high prices have made the society nervous, putting it on the verge of a social explosion. This incident would happen soon if it does not happen today,” wrote Arman daily in its April 3 edition.
On the other hand, Iranian citizens openly declare their hatred of the rulers and their tricks. From April 4 to 7, the people staged at least 56 protests, including rallies, strikes, and marches, despite a new surge of the coronavirus disease. Protesters frequently chanted, “We have not seen justice,” “We no longer vote,” and “Death to the deceitful government,” referring to the upcoming presidential election scheduled for June.
“You can no longer deceive us with lovely words. We will return tomorrow. This time, we would stand until the end and obtain our rights even if you gun me down here,” said a protester during a retirees’ rally in Isfahan on April 4.
“Unfortunately, as we have lied, the people no longer trust our words as officials,” said Mehrdad Veis-Karami, the member of the Parliament (Majlis) from Lorestan province, in a public session on April 6.
In the leadup to the Presidential election, the Islamic Republic has severely been challenged by ongoing protests and public distrust. Potential candidates portray themselves as progressive and opposition figures to earn people’s acceptance, which is an inverse confession of the government’s horrific failures in the past 41 years.
“We do not vote for theft, plunder, suppression, poverty, high prices, and executions, as well as those who killed the passengers of the Ukrainian airliner and issued the ruling for the execution of Navid and others,” said a citizen from Mashhad, the capital of the northeastern Iranian province of Razavi Khorasan, on April 2.