By Mohammad Sadat Khansari
New crises emerging since the Persian New Year demonstrate the incompetence of the Iranian Regime and forecast a bleak future for the mullahs.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani both said in their New Year speeches that the failing economy is the single most important problem facing Iran.
This was backed up by Abdolnaser Hemmati, president of the Central Bank of Iran, who advised that the Regime should not be wasting money on “import[ing] cutting-edge vehicles for two billion [tomans]” when “people have difficulties [buying] meat and chicken”.
He said: “People can bear many things, but they can’t bear these things.”
While Ahmad Miremadi, who is the Friday prayer Imam of Khorramabad and Khamenei’s representative in the surrounding province of Lorestan, warned that trying to raise the morale of the Iranian people was a failed task.
He said: “You can’t forcibly make people enthusiastic. When people face difficulties when there is inflation, hardships, what hope should they have?”
Another major issue facing the Iranian Regime is the fate of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) bills, aimed at increasing financial transparency to reduce terror financing and money laundering, which must be passed before Iran can benefit the European special purpose vehicle to avoid US sanctions.
This seems like a reasonable ask, but many in the Khamenei faction are fighting against it, which is exacerbating the factional divide in the Regime. The mullahs won’t take responsibility though, with many blaming the rest of the world for insisting the Regime follow through on the FAFT bills.
Khamenei himself used his New Year speech to criticise the Iranian Parliament for not passing bills against the US.
He said: “Over the past two years, the [US] Congress has passed or presented 226 bills and resolution against the Islamic Republic. So, we should ask and complain to our own parliament how many bills or resolutions the Islamic Consultative Assembly [the formal term for the Iranian parliament] has passed until now against American malice?”
Ali Motahari, deputy spokesperson of the parliament, and Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, chair of the National Security and Foreign Relations Committee in the Parliament, responded by saying that the parliament is not responsible for foreign relations.
Falahatpisheh said: “Decision making about foreign relation policies are made in the Supreme National Security Council, headed by the president and the secretary of the supreme national security council and in major matters the decision is made based on the opinion of the Supreme Leader.”
Ali Motahari said: “The Supreme Leader expects more but the Guardian Council has disapproved the parliament’s plan to pass a resolution.”