“One of the sweetest and greatest achievements of last year was the presidential election,” the clerical regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei joyfully declared in March 2022, as he had presumably consolidated power by selecting Ebrahim Raisi as his regime’s president. Iran’s nationwide uprising has portrayed his regime’s dark and bitter future and current fragile status.
The regime’s parliament met behind closed doors on Sunday, December 4, with Raisi. Although very little information has leaked from this meeting, as the tip of the iceberg, it indicates the increasing infightings.
Besides, by considering what state media reported as the “sidelines” of this meeting, one can conclude that it was held to settle the score between regime officials and unify them on how to confront Iran’s nationwide uprising.
According to the official IRNA News Agency on December 4, Raisi “criticized the parliament” and warned MPs “for taking wrong decisions in some of the parliamentary committees.” He also asked MPs to “fairly judge and speak about the ministers and local officials’ performances” and “leave the final decision to the government in selecting local and national authorities.”
“Some parliamentarians were [arguing] with ministers, causing havoc in the Majlis, preventing ministers from speaking. Therefore, the parliament’s speaker had to ask MPs to calm down and let ministers speak,” IRNA added.
Raisi, an unscrupulous mass murderer notorious for his role in the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, was selected as Khamenei’s president in June 2021 in a sham election widely boycotted by the people.
His presidency was the most important piece of Khamenei’s puzzle of consolidating the ruling theocracy vis-à-vis a looming uprising. Earlier in 2020, Khamenei had handpicked the parliament and paved the way for Mohseni Ejei, another mass murderer, to replace Raisi as the judiciary chief in 2022.
The tightly vetted parliament has been the scene of infightings since its inauguration. Yet, the nationwide uprising has indeed intensified these wranglings, rendering the situation inside Khamenei’s faction uncontrollable, forcing him to warn his ilk constantly.
Since the beginning of the protests, Khamenei’s MPs have persistently called Raisi’s administration “incapable,” slandering his “closed ministries,” which have left “the country’s problems unattended.”
Despite Khamenei’s numerous warnings to the Majlis to fortify Raisi’s government and avoid impeaching ministers, the parliamentarians impeached or forced to resign three ministers of Labor, Education, and Urban and Road Development.
“Before we impeach the majority of your ministers, amend your cabinet,” MP Jalil Rahimi Jahan Abadi warned Raisi on December 3, according to the state-run Etemad online website.
Raisi’s government has yielded under these pressures. “With the president’s decision, at least ten officials will change in local and national posts,” Ali Bahadori Jahromi, the government’s spokesperson, said on December 4, as aired by state TV.
Raisi’s foundering in leading the executive branch is only one perspective of Khamenei’s miserable failure in consolidating power in his regime. Khamenei opted to oppress any uprising by having a unified governing body. Thus, he installed three notorious henchmen, Raisi, Eje’i, and Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf (parliament’s speaker), to implement his orders at any cost. Yet, Iran’s democratic revolution rendered Khamenei’s plan ineffective.
Seemingly, history repeats itself. Iran’s last monarchial dictator, the Shah, had also banished all political parties, creating a one-party state. A few months before Iran’s anti-monarchial revolution in 1979, his parliament featured scenes of handpicked MPs lashing General Azhari’s military government. Azhari was forced to resign under pressure.
Khamenei has learned his lesson and has repeatedly highlighted in recent years that a step backward causes his regime to collapse. The Iranian people and their organized Resistance movement know this fact, increasing their efforts to topple the regime at any cost. The world community should go beyond condemnations and recognize the Iranian people’s right to self-determination and self-defense.