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Poverty is Taking to the Streets

When Ebrahim Raisi was installed as president, he promised to offer solutions to the numerous crises engulfing the regime, vowing he would initiate “transformation”. Five months into his term, there hasn’t been any indication that he has taken any steps to “control the crises” or initiate meaningful “change.”  On the contrary, regime officials are constantly issuing warnings about the critical situation and serious dangers the regime is facing.

Showing up on state TV on January 16, the interior minister Ahmad Vahidi and his deputy, Taghi Rostamvandi offered some serious comments that put the regime’s fragile state on display. Taghi Rostamvandi talked about the growing “desire for fundamental change in the country” that has gone beyond streets and has reached the higher echelons of power. According to the deputy interior minister, there’s a “tendency towards secular governance within the structure of the system”.

He then warned that when people learn that the religious state is unable and helpless in solving the challenges the country is facing, they will be looking for non-religious governance, suggesting that this should sound the alarm for the regime.

These comments, made while Ahmad Vahidi was listening, speak volumes about the chaos that exists behind the scenes, in the regime’s upper echelons. The turmoil caused by the severity of the crises and the threat of fierce uprisings and rebellion was described by Vahidi on the same TV program as “very dangerous”, warning that “in such a society, anything can happen easily”.

Rostamvandi also spoke of the “desire to protest” in the rebellious society of Iran, where people tend to “come to the streets” and form “more intense rallies” with “norm-breaking behaviors.”

These confessions at the highest official levels of the regime are just the tip of the iceberg due to the intensity of what is transpiring under the skin of the nation. These are signs that reveal the Supreme Leader is beginning to lose his grip.

The same calls are echoing through the chambers of the regime’s parliament.

Parliament deputy Mehdi Asgari said on January 9: “We should worry about the consequences of the gap between the people and the state”.

“The people’s spine is being broken, why are we deaf to the sound of it. The people can no longer tolerate any more pressure,” he shouted on the floor of the parliament, warning Raisi not to inflame the society.

On January 7, the state-run newspaper Eqtesade Pouya wrote: “The country has reached a critical level of misery and action must be taken before it is too late. Otherwise, the people’s patience will run out and it is not clear in which direction the system will be headed”.

Abdolreza Mesri, former minister and a current MP warned on January 6, “A serious crisis is on the way, much more serious than some people think!”

Referring to the latest nationwide uprising, the state-run Mardomsalary newspaper warned on January 16, “Iran is prone to events that are very different from 2017 and 2019, and this time, it is poverty that is taking to the streets!”

These are just a few facts that compelled the regime’s deputy interior minister to come on state TV and sound the alarm about a “desire to bring about a fundamental change in the country.”

If history is a guide, dictatorships have always tried to silence and ignore the voice of the suppressed. But once their officials start hearing these voices, it is perhaps because they are getting too close to the dictators’, previously considered secure.

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