On Sunday, the Iranian regime’s Majlis hastily impeached Reza Fatemi Amin, the Minister of Industry, Mines, and Trade in Ebrahim Raisi’s government. The decision came mere days after Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei pled with officials to stand united. This is further proof of the regime’s deepening crises.
This impeachment follows Raisi’s decision to oust two cabinet members, the Minister of Agriculture and the president of the Planning and Budget Organization, on April 15. In contrast to the Ministers of Education and Labor, who had resigned, the two recently dismissed members refused to exit “voluntarily.”
Fatemi Amin was seemingly impeached due to corruption in his Ministry. During his impeachment session on Sunday, new facts about the regime’s corruption were revealed. MP Naser Mousavi Largani said: “Citizens dream of having an ordinary life. But we have a long list of corrupt people and groups affiliated with your ministry. We have been told not to reveal their names, to prevent any damage to the system’s reputation.”
Yet, some damning facts, including Fatemi Amin’s bribe to some MPs, were exposed during the increasing infightings. According to the state media, he had given dozens of SUVs to the parliamentarians to get a vote of confidence. But that’s just one example of corruption.
“Why did you lie about 13% economic growth? How could you deceive the parliament and make the president lie in front of the Supreme Leader?” MP Lotfollah Siahkali said, trying to whitewash Khamenei and Raisi’s hands and blame their lies on Fatemi Amin.
“How do you claim you are combatting corruption and Mafia when the price of the useless Pride vehicle is skyrocketing? Even by using the 500,000 rials dollar exchange rate, the real price of many low-quality cars is 3 billion rials, not over 10 billion rials. Who profits from this price difference? Who devours people’s wealth? Who has their hands deep into people’s pockets?” MP Sarah Falah said, yet avoided referring to systematic corruption.
Acknowledging systematic corruption was totally against Khamenei’s recommendations made on April 22. “A very important strategy is to avoid sidelines and rumors created by the enemy. When there are rumors about an official’s [misdemeanor and corruption], don’t try to repeat or bold them,” he said.
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) August 27, 2021
Reeling from the increasing infightings in his supposed “consolidated system,” Khamenei urged the heads of the three branches to increase unity.
“A very important strategy is the cooperation between heads of three branches. They all should cooperate and synthesize. The constitution has created a perfect opportunity for them to work together; if so, they can overcome every problem. I advise the heads of the three branches not to block each other’s path and instead to pave the way for one another,” he acknowledged.
To consolidate power in the regime, Khamenei espoused a vision of a “young and Hezbollahi” government, wholly committed to his agenda and policies against a restive society. He handpicked the Majlis and subsequently engineered the rigged 2021 presidential elections to ensure Raisi’s victory, which he hailed as the “Sweetest event in 2021.”
Khamenei’s “young and Hezbollahi” government has set a new record for cabinet reshuffles since the mullahs seized power in 1979. Certain officials have conceded that “changes in the cabinet continue” under this regime.
While Raisi claims the new impeachment and previous resignations were to close gaps in the “consolidated system,” state media has ridiculed him, dubbing it “The domino of dismissals and resignations in the 13th government” and questioning the implications of these frequent shake-ups.
The recent impeachment and the previous resignation and dismissals, and the regime’s exacerbating infightings are due to the system’s failure to control a nationwide uprising that persists despite the authorities’ brutal crackdown.
These infightings further weaken the regime. Therefore, Khamenei and state media keep warning officials about the consequences of fighting each other.
Ebrahim Raisi’s Cabinet: An Unpopular Set for An Impossible Missionhttps://t.co/LiIszWoLYD
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) May 2, 2023
“The significant damage of this duality is the depreciation of trust and social capital. Discrediting officials and responsible institutions and, ultimately, destroying the political system is the inevitable result of inconsistencies, imbalances, and multiplicity. Apart from its economic and social costs, these [infighting] result in inequalities and disturbs society. It would finally result in a social explosion,” the state-run Sharq daily warned on April 30.
Yet, seemingly, Khamenei’s regime has no solution for this situation, and it intensifies in light of ongoing protests in Iran.