A new round of infighting at the latest session of the Iranian regime’s Majlis (Parliament) indicates the regime’s absolute deadlock. These infightings are over a greater share of power.
During this session, that was held for a vote on Hassan Rouhani’s proposed Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade, many members of the regime’s Parliament from the rival faction attacked the mullahs’ president Rouhani.
Rouhani had refused to participate in this session, under the pretext of being denied doing so by the National Coronavirus Combat Task Force, which he presides. His absence, according to the regime’s constitution, made the session illegal, but it was held anyway. The regime’s MPs from the rival faction, close to the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, attacked Rouhani, despite Khamenei warning them previously not to.
Ardashir Motahari, MP from Garmsar in Semnan province, northeastern Iran, lashed out at Rouhani for his absence. “Today, we have the proposed minister for Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade of a president that hides himself from the public at all costs. This is the second time he [Rouhani] has refused to show up before Majlis, and we are sorry about that,” he said.
“Mr. President, do you know what people say about you on the streets? Go to the streets and see what people say, ‘God damn Rouhani.’ This is what is being said in the country. People do not trust you, not even a bit. How do you expect them to trust your proposed Minister who has spent two decades of his life abroad?” Motahari added.
Motahari spoke of ‘people,’ while during his previous positions in the regime, such as head of the regime’s State Security Force (SSF) in Garmsar, Commander of the headquarters of the Greater Tehran Police Command, and Commander of Greater Tehran Police Patrols, he had actively participated in the people’s oppression. So, clearly his remarks were not in the favor of people; rather, they were for a greater share of power.
Despite their increasing infighting, the mullahs’ Majlis approved Alireza Razm Hossaini as the new Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade. But why?
In this regard, Mehrdad Karamveisi, one of the regime’s MPs, while questioning Razm Hossaini over his Canadian permanent residency said: “If the parliament gives you a vote of confidence, it is for [the regime’s] expedience.”
He was approved because Khamenei had ordered it. Following the major Iran protests in November 2019, which rattled the regime’s foundations, Khamenei tries to avoid any conflict that increases the rift at the top of the regime. Because this could trigger another uprising.
For instance, when the new Majlis started working last February, there were calls to impeach Rouhani. On July 15, Mohammad Taqi Naghdali, a regime lawmaker, said: “Sitting and listening to the ministers of the government is futile. Start the president’s impeachment.” But Khamenei, who was afraid of another uprising, decreed to his handpicked parliament to “be united against the enemy, despite their differences.”
Abbas Abdi, one of the regime’s former security officials and from Rouhani’s faction, in an article on Sunday in the state-run Etemad daily wrote: “With the inauguration of the new parliament, Rouhani has become like a bone stuck in their throat. They [MPs] cannot swallow it, and if they swallow it, they cannot digest it, nor can they spit it out. For this reason, they claimed that they tolerated him, but this tolerance is out of compulsion, and it is not voluntary. For this reason, in my previous article in July, I told them: ‘enough of tolerance, impeach him.’ But they [regime’s MPs] are not allowed to do this or they do not have the authority.”
Now, despite Khamenei’s handpicked Majlis voting in favor of Razm Hossaini, the infightings and attacks on the rival factions show the depth of the regime’s crisis. This Majlis was supposed to implement Khamenei’s mandates, but it didn’t easily. In other words, the regime’s MPs defied what Khamenei previously had said: “The last year of governments is usually a critical year, and care must be taken not to loosen [control] of issues.”
In a nutshell, the situation is out of the regime’s control, therefore the mullahs are afraid of a looming uprising by the deprived people who want nothing but the regime’s downfall.