Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, Sept. 4, 2018 - On Tuesday, August 28, the Iranian regime’s president Hassan Rouhani was summoned to answer questions before the parliament about the country’s economic crisis, and then voted to reject his explanations, in a rare rebuke of a sitting leader.
But even before Rouhani’s appearance in the parliament, a question remained on the table of both ruling factions in Iran: What are the consequences of the questioning for the whole regime?
Iran Newspaper, the mouthpiece of Rouhani’s government, answered this question on 25 August and wrote: “Generally, it appears that the goal, or at least the certain outcome, of this questioning, isn’t to solve any troubles, but rather to increase the tensions and widen the gap in the power [circle] and this is more dangerous for Iran’s society than anything else.”
The main question on the table in Hassan Rouhani’s appearance before the Iranian parliament was the economic troubles the country faces. He categorically denied government mismanagement and blamed United States sanctions as the root cause of the problems.
But after he made remarks on five questions about the economic crisis Iran faces, such as the collapse in value of the national currency, the rial, and ever-increasing unemployment rates, a majority of lawmakers rebuked Rouhani’s explanations by a vote, saying that they were “not convinced” by four of his five answers.
Despite Rouhani’s unambiguous support for the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, a deeply rooted quarrel between his factions and Khamenei’s Revolutionary Guards was one of the first challenges that appeared on the parliament floor.
Iranian MP Mohammad Pourmokhtar said in the August 26 session of the parliament: “Statements by the armed forces commanders about international issues and responding to the foolishness of the ignorant American president is a duty to me. How is it that a bunch of ignorant and uneducated people accept that these commanders sacrifice their sweet lives for them, but don’t give them the right to make statements about it?”
In a counter attack, Rouhani’s faction instantly attacked Khamenei’s Guardian Council and the Revolutionary Guards.
Qasem Mirzaii Niku, a member of the Iranian parliament, said: “Discretionary control and a parallel government is choking [us all], and dirty money and dirty hands has corrupted the authorities. Corruption is like a seven-headed beast that appears somewhere else every day.”
It is worth noting that the lawmakers’ rebuke to Rouhani comes two days after the parliament dismissed the finance minister. Iran’s central bank chief and its minister of labor and social welfare have also been fired over the last few weeks.
The second consequence of the August 26 parliament session was widening of an internal rift inside Khamenei’s faction. Despite Khamenei’s support for Rouhani’s government, they reiterated the government’s inefficiency and mismanagement.