In recent weeks, the highest authorities of Iran’s regime have acknowledged endemic corruption and unprecedented cases of internal infighting.
Last week, two separate letters were published by mullahs Mohammad Yazdi and Sadeq Amoli Larijani in which they accused each other of corruption and embezzlement with the harshest language. The letters triggered a new crisis within the regime. Both are senior mullahs who were previously chief of the regime’s Judiciary. Larijani currently heads the Expediency Council while Yazdi is a senior member of the council. Both are among the closest officials to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The letters popped up following reports in state-run media about a series of embezzlement cases involving senior regime officials. Yazdi accused Larijani, who headed the Judiciary for 10 years, of being a ‘corrupt’ person. He questioned Larijani over his wealth and the palaces he has built. Reciprocally, in an open letter, Larijani called Yazdi a ‘corrupt’ and ‘incompetent’ person. Larijani also wrote that he possess a large volume of information about the involvement of senior regime officials in corruption. He threatened that he would reveal those cases if his adversaries shed more light on cases involving him.
The publication of the two mullahs’ letters triggered a crisis in the regime. Observers see it as an indication of the regime’s state of breakdown, since the two are among the highest officials and both are from Khamenei’s faction. The state of breakdown can also be seen in the reaction of other influential mullahs to this crisis.
Mullah Mohammad Javad Kermani, a top regime official, said: “I believe our system is highly contaminated with cancer, and cancer is all over the system, and we are in need of inclusive chemotherapy.”
Naser Makarem Shirazi, another senior influential mullah, said: “Put an end to the conflict. These types of conflicts never have clear outcomes, and they only ignite the flame of sedition.”
The word “sedition” in the mullahs’ lexicon translates to ‘popular uprising.’ This mullah was clearly acknowledging that infighting, especially at this level, could ignite the flame of an uprising.
As indications of the regime’s end are surfacing, infighting in the regime has reached unprecedented levels, while corruption and embezzlement are also at their pinnacle. The situation is reminiscent of the final phase of the Shah’s regime.
Furthermore, the recent visit to Europe by the regime’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, was another sign of the regime’s state of breakdown.
On August 21, reacting to protests by Iranian Resistance supporters against his presence in Sweden, Zarif said: “Ask any of those individuals standing outside to attend any meetings with Iranians (meaning the regime’s Revolutionary Guards and agents) and then see whether they would survive. They would not stay alive for a minute…. They cannot even stay in Iraq because the people of Iraq (meaning the regime’s proxies in that country) will eat them alive.”
As a so-called “moderate,” Zarif was expected to keep his false moderate demeanor. Instead, his reaction to a peaceful demonstration by Iranian Resistance supporters disclosed both the inhumane nature of the medieval regime and the critical situation it faces – a reaction that only displays the state of breakdown of the regime and its fear of its alternative.