The 40th anniversary of the victory of the Iranian revolution has come at a time the ruling regime is going through a critical period as well as a heavy legacy of problems and crises that reached a very dangerous level at home and abroad, most notably the widening gap between the people and the regime which led to demonstrations and protests in more than 100 Iranian cities in which the demonstrators broke all restrictions and taboos, and launched slogans for the first time against the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the Iranian revolution and the regime of Wali al-Faqih and its frantic policies which are tampering with the security of the peoples of the region and especially the Iranian one, proving the failure of the Revolutionary Guard and its security institutions in maintaining the “revolutionary deception” and the preservation of Khamenei’s position as a supreme leader who supposed to have a popular base and legitimacy to ensure his survival.

In recent years, especially after the hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad assumed power in 2005 and remained for another term by rigging the elections in 2009, many factors have emerged which have increased the gap between the people and the regime, mainly that related to corruption scandals of the regime and government officials, which included all types of financial, economic, administrative and moral corruption such as the scandal of the Qur’an reader, Saeed Toosi, who was close to Ali Khamenei and senior leaders of the Iranian regime, who has been charged with raping seven of his students aged between 12 and 14 years, threatening to involve a number of senior leaders of the regime if protected or saved from this stalemate. As for the financial corruption, it has recently climbed dramatically, amounting to more than 200 billion Dollar.

Moreover, the policies of the Iranian regime and its interventions in the countries of the region have exhausted hundreds of billions at a time when the Iranian people suffer from crises and economic and living problems. This prompted the Iranian people to move and reject such policies with many slogans against the Iranian regime’s interference in the affairs of the countries of the region and to the policies that waste the Iranian people’s money on terrorist groups such as Hezbollah. However, the intransigence of the regime, its failure to respond to popular demands, the neglect of internal development, the insistence on continuing to interfere in regional affairs and the waste of Iranian people’s wealth led to widening the gap between the regime and the people.

With the American escalation against Tehran and the re-imposition of sanctions and even tightening them, this has indicated the weakness of the political vision and the proper planning of the decision makers in Iran, pressure increased on the regime internally and externally, and these pressures were a critical stage and a serious turn that the Iranian authorities have faced. Many officials were alarmed by the possibility of the regime collapse due to pressure that is coming from everywhere, from within Iran and abroad.

This has led to the convergence of political opposition with the popular opposition against the regime and their expansion recently to include symbols and political figures with a large popular bases such as Mir Moussaoui, Mehdi Karroubi and Mohammad Khatami and the sons and daughters of Hashemi Rafsanjani and many known political figures inside Iran. More seriously, many reports have shown considerable discontent and frustration among Iranian military leaders because of the regime’s marginalization policies against the army in favor of the Revolutionary Guard, which has widened the gap between those leaders and the Iranian regime and weakened much of the army’s loyalty to the Supreme Leader  to the extent that the army leaders will might support the Iranian people if they decided to revolt against the regime. This is also the case with many intelligence leaders, who have become a parallel institution to the intelligence services of the Revolutionary Guard which took away their powers and prevented them from running the country’s security affairs. This also applies to Hassan Rouhani’s government, which has become a government without powers.

Although the crises and problems experienced by the Iranian people are not new and have begun since the advent of the current regime in 1979, what has worsened the situation these days is the high tensions between the regime’s wings and the growing despair and frustration of the peoples, because of Tehran’s interference in the region’s affairs which have exhausted the Iranian wealth as well as the spread of corruption, inequality, the dominance of the Revolutionary Guard on the economy and failure to run the country and the deterioration of living conditions to a serious degree that warns of hungry revolution because of the high and worsening rates of poverty, unemployment, addiction, crimes and many others.

Without a doubt, the continuation of any regime requires public support and political stability in order to overcome crises and finding solutions. In the absence of these factors during the time of crises amid administrative failure, the continuity of the political regime will become very difficult and even impossible, and the regime will plunge into more crises, which serves as fuel for the movement of the revolution and increases anger and popular resentment against decision-makers. The support of the people for the regime requires an adequate standard of living and welfare, especially in the case of Iran, where Iran is one of the richest countries in the world in natural resources such as oil and gas, and yet its peoples are the poorest and the most oppressed people on earth.

This equation, the people’s support for the regime and the provision of a proper living standard for the people, is now suffering from an imbalance in Iran, which has made the revolution at its 40th anniversary losing its place among the Iranian people and struggling to stay alive. This increases the expectations that the end of this revolution and its guards is imminent, especially as the institutions of the regime and the government lack programs, plans or projects to deal with the crises.

With the 40th anniversary of the Khomeini’s revolution, prices continue to rise, people line up in long queues to get goods and basic necessities, the local currency is collapsing, more projects and factories have been stopped and thousands are added daily to the list of millions of unemployed, crimes especially thefts are increasing, domestic investment stops and external are leaving, the export of Iranian oil tends to zero and the political divisions and differences are escalating.

The above can provide a clear picture of the future of the Iranian regime, which will not go beyond two scenarios; the first is the outbreak of a popular revolution in which political and military support will be given against the Iranian regime in order to ensure its success and achieve its objectives. The second is the Iranian regime’s complying with the will of the United States in full and further concessions will be given in exchange for the lifting of the sanctions. This would inevitably require to abandon the revolution and make a comprehensive change in the structure of the political, religious, security and military system which in turn would ignite a civil war at home or turn into a popular motive for the revolution against the regime after its surrender and the exposure of its deception it has practiced over the past four decades in its hostility to the Great Satan!

Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre

February 11, 2019