A former Iranian official called for “strategic elections” to prevent major nationwide protests.Speaking to the state-run ILNA News Agency, Mostafa Tajzadeh also said Iranians were “tired and had lost hope”.
Presidential elections are scheduled to be held in Iran in June 21.
The so-called “reformist” politician who was an Acting Minister of Interior under the administration of Khatami and former advisor to Khatami said he opposed a “military government” in upcoming elections.
“People do not want a military president. This is because when a military president is in office, there will be less transparency. The probability of tensions in foreign affairs will increase and decisions will be based chiefly on military solutions,” Tajzadeh added.
“We have to carry out strategic elections. We either have to tend to the economy or continue this one dimension and contradictory (economic) growth until the people explode,” he said adding that the “catastrophic events” of November 2019 protests could occur again.
Tajzadeh implied that Iranians believed elections were sham and that all major decision were made by “the hard core power” or the Supreme Leader. He said Iranians had “partially” boycotted elections, “cursed” both factions (hardliners and reformists) at every opportunity and were “angry and dissatisfied”.
The former deputy at the Minister of Interior and the Ministry of Culture said he believed “free elections” would bring back hope to Iranians and would prevent a “revolution”.
“We should not forget that one of the important reasons behind the 1979 revolution was that elections had lost their meaning during the Shah’s era. If a country has free elections, the people will not turn to a revolution,” Tajzadeh said.
The Arman state-run daily also said yesterday that Iranian “workers were running out of patience” due to Iran’s crumbling economy.
“All the problems will one day manifest themselves, and on that day, when the tolerance of the majority of the society, namely workers, ends, and they run out of patience, the results will not be good,” the daily wrote.
Last month, a former member of Parliament, Emad Afrough, warned officials that if the regime continued to neglect Iranians, it would fuel protests.
“Forgetting the people means creating a gap between the political and social powers, which will pave the road for crisis, riots, and unrest,” the hardliner sociologist told Etemad state-run daily.
Emad Afrough stressed that the “station of the people in the Islamic Republic can be both a threat and an opportunity” for the regime in the upcoming decade.
“It seems we have increasingly forgotten the main origin of this revolution which is the people. The weight we give to political power is in no way equal to that which we give to social power,” Afrough added.
In October 2020, another “reformist” politician warned that popular discontent had increased since November 2019, when thousands of Iranians took to the streets in anti-government protests. His remarks came one day after a hardline politician said, if not for the brutal crackdown against protesters in 2019, the regime would have been taken down.
A state economic analyst in Iran stated in December 2020 that more protests were imminent if fundamental economic change was not made. Hossein Raghfar said in an interview with the state-run news Sharq Daily, “Many of those in important decision-making positions comprehend the sensitive circumstances and know that it is not possible to continue like this. But in order to prevent convulsions (as we had before), we need fundamental change.”