A member of the faction close to the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader has said that last year’s protests by the Iranian people were an “extremely heavy and serious blow to the image of the” clerical regime.
In an interview with the state-run Fars news agency, Mohammad-Reza Naeri said, “I think the sedition that was created and the subsequent incidents dealt an extremely heavy and serious blow to the image of the Islamic Republic. I don’t think it has been examined properly yet to see the sourness of it. It also harmed the domestic situation and the social fabric in our country. This incident opened other wounds and brought to the fore a series of issues that were hidden behind a social façade. It brought about the fire that was hidden under the ashes.”
He suggested that the Iranian regime has not been influential in the cultural and historical spheres leading “students and youngsters to come to streets and chant against the establishment.” In other words, he said, “people have lost trust and our image and links [with people] have been broken.”
In such circumstances, “the enemy attracts the people,” Naeri added. He specifically pointed to the main opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), which enjoys popular support in Iran and said, “Even if they print and smuggle in the text of Massoud Rajavi’s most recent statement in large numbers through the airport, no one could prevent it,” he said referring to the PMOI’s historical leader.
He also made reference to the diminishing power of the mullahs’ Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, and said, “Unfortunately, when the leader adopts a decision, many don’t listen.”