By Jubin Katiraie
Observers and experts in Iranian affairs say that one of the signs of recognizing the great impact of the Iranian people’s recent protests on the body of the entire regime can be seen in the disruption within the system. This disruption is often seen in the form of splits between the ruling factions.
Government observers and experts agree that the uprising of the Iranian people has deepened the divisions within the regime from top to bottom and even to the lower levels of the regime. The effects of this split can be seen in different fields every day.
Abdullah Nasseri, a member of former Iranian President Mohamad Khatami’s government, declared that the uprising of the Iranian people was ‘a turning point in November’ and said this faction had departed from President Hassan Rouhani’s policy and wrote on 24 December in the state-run newspaper Hamdeli: “The people and the reformists who support the government of Rouhani are ‘passing it on’.” He condemned Rouhani for calling the protesters ‘thugs’, adding: “Rouhani made two mistakes: first, there was no rational, information-driven mechanism to raise gasoline prices, and secondly, he described the people’s demands and criticisms as chaos and sedition.”
On 24 December, the state-run Javan newspaper attacked Rouhani and how the regime could get out of the crisis and wrote: “The situation of the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal) is now a hunchback! Two years ago, the president said, ‘The JCPOA is a ray of sunshine.’ He did not know that one day he would travel to the country of sunshine (Japan) in the hope that he would find out a way for the JCPOA by the Americans. The JCPOA now has no achievement for the government, which can neither go out of it, nor can it remain committed to it, nor can it ‘take a step’, nor can it turn it into something else, nor can it even transfer it. The conditions of the JCPOA are completely smoky now, as the weather in the capital.”
On 24 December, the state-run Mardom Salari newspaper, publishing an article with the signature of an ‘injured veteran’, exposed the crack in Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s faction and the depth of the crisis within the regime. He wrote and addressed government officials: “You should ask the various authorities whose children, who enjoy some of their best prosperity or live in Western countries, how did you really ignore the affliction and suffering of so many people, while the people endured years of heavy war, displacement, poverty, and the extreme sanctions? The people who sacrificed their lives and their children for this regime. These perfidies with the people, what pride and golden paper have they brought for you, the authorities, while you have humiliated them, who live with death? What is the position of these people in the political, welfare and social geography of this country?”
The most striking example, however, are the confessions of the deep divide between the people and the regime because of its oppressive policies, which are heard every day in the parliament.
In one instance, while 40 members of the parliament said that they would not run in the next round of elections, lawmaker Hemayat Mirzadeh on 24 December confessed to the deep gap between the people and the regime: “But what I suggest in the budget chapter as an emergency speech is that, as a social researcher, I believe today’s problem of the country is public dissatisfaction and of the hopelessness and mistrust that is rooted in the word ‘discrimination’ rather than lack.”
The remarkable thing is that the main subject in Iran today is the dispute and division within the regime around the social crisis and the explosive conditions of society and the people, showing how effective the blow of the uprising on the regime was, a regime that was just destroying and plundering Iran. Now they are saying that the protesters should not be called rioters and that their endless suffering and misery should not be ignored.