Iran: A Society That ‘Will Undergo Major Changes’

Anti-government protest in Iran
Anti-government protest in Iran

By Pooya Stone

Iran regime’s state-run dailies, which examine and criticize every political, economic, and social issue, ultimately cannot hide their fear of any upcoming uprisings and acknowledge in various terms the danger that lurks on the way of the regime.

One of the topics being discussed these days is the reopening of schools and the dangers posed to children, adolescents, and their families by the increasing prevalence of the coronavirus.

Earlier, experts and even officials at the governmental Coronavirus Taskforce and medical officials and many other officials warned President Hassan Rouhani of the danger of reopening schools, but despite these warnings, the Rouhani government decided to reopen the schools.

After the reopening, the issue that raised the concerns of the regime’s officials is that the consequences of this decision of Rouhani’s government may face the regime with popular dissatisfaction and even in the form of widespread popular protests, in a situation where the risk of an uprising is very high due to political, social and economic crisis.

While criticizing Rouhani and the relevant institutions for this action, they also warned Rouhani that the negative reaction of the people to the reopening of schools may be similar to their reaction to the increase in the price of gasoline, which is very dangerous.

On this subject, the state-run daily Resalat on 6 September with the title, “Signaling right, but turning left” wrote: “While the Ministry of Education wants to definitely bring students to schools, leaving aside how coronavirus is dangerous for a 22-year-old student but not dangerous for an 11-year-old student, the more serious question is why they announce such a decision three days before the schools reopen?

“If a decision is to be changed, the reasons must be told to the people and the society must be informed and persuaded about the issue. The opposite of this view is that the chief executive, on Friday morning, at the same time as the public, be informed of the beginning of the gasoline price plan, and it is natural for the society to resist such a decision. And as a result of internal shortcomings and external abuses, those bitter events arise that everyone knows the description of.”

The ‘bitter events’ it is referring to are events such as the widespread public uprisings in recent years, including the November 2019 uprising, which the author of this state-run daily implicitly referred to as the petrol price-raising incident.

And the Vatan-e-Emrooz daily is also concerned that the government’s coronavirus management plan, including the reopening of schools, will ‘reduce public confidence in critical situations’ and ‘make public reactions to this decision (the decision to reopen schools) a new challenge.’

They are aware of the fact that the regime is involved in many crises, and the pervasive crises that have engulfed it may turn into a social uprising such as the uprisings of recent years, especially the November 2019 uprising, of which the Rasalat daily explicitly warns.

Because now the ‘challenge of distrust’ is more than ever ‘obvious’ and ‘is a challenge’ that ‘will cause the decline of the collective matter and the originality of individual decisions of society in the face of external crises will find its way.’

Vatan-e-Emrooz further warned the regime about such decisions. Referring to the increase in the gasoline price as an example, it wrote:

“The increase in gasoline prices, which was denied even a few weeks before its implementation by the Minister of Oil, led to fiery protests that even many government officials and governors warned about.”

It emphasized that: “The negative reaction of the society to the plan to reopen schools and the disobedience of a large number of families in the face of this plan can also be considered as a serious warning at the beginning of the ‘state of statelessness’.” (Vatan-e-Emrooz, 6 September)

Ebtekar daily also called the reopening of schools a ‘nail in the coffin of public trust.’

The author of the article accuses Rouhani and the decision-makers in his government and wrote: “They either do not realize or ignore the unfortunate consequences of these behaviors. It is not bad for those around the President who are mostly intelligence involved people, to review all the strange things that have happened to the society from November 2019 until yesterday.

“It seems that this trend is going to completely change the coordinates of social reactions in Iran. Naturally, this situation cannot be considered a stable situation and it is obvious that this situation will undergo major changes in the not too far future.” (Ebtekar, 6 September)

The author explicitly acknowledged that the current situation of the regime is not ‘stable and lasting’ but shaky and that is why they are concerned about the changing situation.


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