Observing Iranian public opinion, and the mood of ordinary people, mainly younger ones and what they publish through social media reveals the extent of resentment and despair inside Iran from the regime and the successive governments. Reading through the newspapers published in Iran, especially in recent times, confirms that the divisions are exacerbated significantly, especially after the withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear deal and reimposing sanctions on Iran, which led to further deterioration and despair from the regime, its policies and all types of governments, whether it was of hardliners, reformers or moderates!

What has been published on social media as well as Iranian media confirms the state of anger among the Iranian people and a number of political, military and security officials towards the regime and the Revolutionary Guard, and talks about the imminent explosion of the situation despite the regime’s crackdown on any movement or opposition at home and cutting all links between home and abroad and its attempt to fully control all means of social media after banning Facebook, Twitter and recently Telegram and replacing them with local applications to ensure the supervision and full control over everything published inside Iran.

Recently, there have been many examples that reflected the radical change in the way Iranian peoples express their opinion in what is going on with unprecedented boldness and absolute rejection of the government’s and regime’s policies. This reflects the failure of the security authorities in controlling the growing insurgency, which has been increasing day by day. For instance, in the so-called International Day of Jerusalem held in Iran, during the rallies called for by the Iranian regime, slogans were raised against the Iranian regime itself and its government, and more than one official was the target of these slogans and chants including Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, who was called by the demonstrators the traitor and the spy and chanted: Death to the traitor, death to the spy. Salehi himself was once threatened by some members of the Shura Council of burying in the nuclear reactor and poured cement on him during the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the Western powers. The rallies, which were supposed to be, according to the regime’s mentality and plans, supportive of the its policies, did the opposite and raised bold and courageous slogans against the Iranian regime and its governments, a move that brought back once again the exchange of charges among the rivalry political currents to the forefront of the political arena, but more forcefully.

The differences between the political currents inside Iran are many and rooted and cannot be bridged as they are widening day by day. These currents even no longer agree on one single issue these days. Among these differences are lifting house arrest for the Green Movement’s symbols, Iran’s interference abroad, the nuclear deal and program, and the feasibility of wasting hundreds of billions on foreign wars by the Iranian regime and supporting terrorist’s and extremist’s groups under the guise of exporting the revolution, helping the weak and fighting arrogance… and many others. Moreover, the disagreement over the economic issue is about the rejection of the control of the Revolutionary Guard on 80% of the Iranian economy, the issue of attracting foreign investment and high rates of poverty and unemployment, etc. On the social level, it is about the need to review the death sentences, unblocking of social media sites, the suppression of freedoms, oppressing civil and social activists and banning religious, social and civil rights and the restriction put on women.

These differences and conflicts have recently widened to reach the Iranian Shura Council (Parliament) which turned into an arena for exchanging accusations and insults following discussing Iran’s accession to the International Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which deals with combating money laundering and terrorist financing. Rouhani’s government believes that Iran should join this treaty as this would open it up to the world and reduce the large economic losses that are accumulating on Tehran, while the hardliners believe that Iran’s accession to this treaty facilitates penetrating Iran and the imposition of international sanctions on its most important institutions i.e. the one of the terrorist Revolutionary Guard. These divisions have exacerbated to the point of trading threats and intimidations.

What Iran is experiencing at the current stage, along with the growing problems and crises on all political, economic, security and social levels, can be described as the stage of the Iranian regime’s demise. The reports confirm that there are direct and coordinated contacts between the opposition abroad and the internal Iranian opposition and that there is widespread acceptance of the need to change the mullahs’ regime through organized demonstrations run by leadership groups that have been agreed upon in subtle ways so not to be targeted by the Revolutionary Guard and the Iranian interior is waiting for the zero hour to break out in massive demonstrations against the Iranian regime.

Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre

11 June  2018