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Iran: Officials horrified over widening rift between regime, ordinary Iranians

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Analysis by PMOI/MEK

 

May 20, 2019 - While one can’t stop hearing Iranian regime officials’ saber rattling these days talking about the strength of their military and an unprecedented national unity! facing a foreign enemy, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

And sometimes, what can be witnessed on the streets of Iran by any impartial observer, shows itself through the cracks of the official rhetoric.

Mostafa Bagheribonabi, Friday prayer imam of Bonab in northwest Iran, describes the root of the popular discontent, especially among the youth, in the enemy’s propaganda. “The enemies are intent to damage the huge capacity of the youth,” he said.

“By spreading corrupt values that are anti-religion, the enemies are waging total war on this country to take the youth from us, and thus obliterate our greatness and pervert the youth,” Bagheribonabi added.

Jalil Jalili, Friday prayer imam of the town of Sardrud in East Azerbaijan Province, described the popular despise for the regime as the enemy’s scheme.

“Among the enemy's plots, these days is to change the calculation of the officials and to create confrontation between the people and the [mullahs’] regime.”

Jalili expressed his concerns about Tehran’s isolation on the internet and called it a killing field for the regime’s values.

Abbas Rahim, the Friday prayer imam of Khomeini Shahr, central Iran, went as far as asking Iranian officials to prosecute and crackdown against dissent on the internet.

“Authorities need to find a solution to confront some behaviors seen on the cyberspace and prosecute decisively,” he said.

Ali Hosseini, Friday prayer imam of ‌Bandar Deyr in Bushehr Province of southern Iran, expressed his fears of decreasing loyalty among the regime’s forces when they confront the popular mood in the cyberspace.

“If cyberspace isn’t managed properly, the beliefs of the young generation will be damaged,” he said.

In contrast to Friday prayer imams, who are traditionally aligned with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s views, elements of the opposing camp find the roots of the problem in the mullahs’ approach, while admitting to the growing rift between the regime and ordinary Iranians.

Alireza Beheshti, son of Mohammad Hosseini Beheshti and a senior adviser to Mir Hossein Mousavi during the 2009 presidential elections, says: “The people of Iran are living in a difficult situation for many years now. This situation is the result of a deep-rooted inefficiency that has led to the spread of corruption. When people see widespread corruption, they will lose their trust in the authorities… This situation continues as we speak and is very dangerous.”

There are still hopefuls inside the ruling elite who suggest that “economic and political” surgeries, as they call it, will open a path for the corrupt elite to exit their current dead-end.

However, as the Iranian people clearly stated in their chants during the popular protests at the beginning of 2018: “Reformist! Hardliners! Game over!”

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