The feasibility of Iran’s foreign policy and its regional interventions is the most important and most widely discussed issue among the Iranian people, in which they always question the outcomes of those policies. Moreover, while the Iranian authorities are unable to provide an explanation or a clear answer to their failure in running the country, there is a growing conflict and divisions between officials and political currents, in a scene where the government has lost its prestige while new bodies and institutions have become responsible for running the country politically, economically and security behind closed doors.

There are many differences and divisions inside Iran on many crucial issues, mainly: how to manage the internal and external affairs of the country; Iran’s accession to the Financial Action Task Force “FATF”; Iran’s adherence to the Nuclear Deal with the European countries; the appointment of the religious and political leader who will succeed the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei after his departure; the powers of the Revolutionary Guard ‘s institutions and its collisions with the government’s ones; the divisions over the overlapping functions and powers of military institutions with Revolutionary Guard’s ones, as well as the roles of the Ministry of Intelligence with these of the Revolutionary Guard; and much more differences between the wings of the Iranian politics on sensitive and influential positions in the country.

The sharp differences in dictatorial regimes are common and well known and must exist, which usually constrain and obstruct government programs and policies and disrupt the most important functions of government institutions, namely the formulation and implementation of public policies to ensure meeting the interests of the state and its citizens. This is exactly the fundamental problem that Iran is currently experiencing due to the stagnation of the Iranian public policies inherited from the era of the first Supreme Leader, Khomeini which the structure of the Iranian regime is based on until now and if any change is made, this will lead to the collapse of the regime.

The public policies of the country are defined as government conduct that includes rules, ideas and procedures that the government is committed to implement and practice in order to achieve the interests of the state and the people. These policies are formulated and often renewed in accordance with the requirements of the times and the political events and local, regional and international developments that guarantee national interests and spare the country any risks or crises.

This definition generally does not apply to dictatorial regimes, as in Iran, where the country’s policies inherited from Khomeini to Khamenei are suffering stagnation that prevent it from coping with the requirements of the times and developments of events. The policies of dictatorial regimes conflict with the most important characteristic of public policies any state must have, which is the flexibility and the strive to keep pace with modernization and developing the political and behavioral mentality in dealing with local, regional and global developments.

In fact, Iran, as a country, suffered greatly with this regime and became unable to formulate public policies that are compatible with the national interests enjoy popular and social support or political and military consensus, which made these policies lacking any popular support that is necessary for much needed legitimacy. Rather, the salient feature of Iran’s public policies has become disorientation, reliance on covert activities, hidden behavior, and external interventions, in order to avoid any need for political consensus or popular support, because Iran’s decision makers are well aware that these policies are popularly rejected and have no political consensus.

Therefore, there is no popular or political consensus over the policies and measures the Iranian regime is taking at the internal and external levels, which led to the intensification of divisions and differences to the point where the interests and efforts of the Iranian officials were directed from working for the interests of the homeland to working for personal and partisan interests. This is the fundamental problem that Iran is currently suffering from, which has caused the isolation of Iran regionally and globally and exacerbated the crises and problems that the Iranian interior is suffering.

In such political circumstances Iran is going through, confidence in officials has diminished, and the running of the country’s affairs has become more random with no plans whatsoever. Iran’s biggest problem nowadays is the mismanagement of the government and the regime to the internal and external affairs of the country.

Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre

February 24, 2019