A former Iranian 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.
He said the current negligence by the regime was a great threat. Afrough also said that the needs, demands and power of the people should not be forgotten.
“We cannot neglect the people. We have no religious justification in this regard. As much as the rulers’ decree is religious, the presence and supervision of the people is also religious,” the former MP added.
He said if the regime lacked popular support, it was fundamentally illegitimate.
“Paying attention to the people is an opportunity and neglecting them is a threat, and unfortunately we are currently in the path of the threat, if not the climax of the threat,” he said adding that a change in policy was needed.
This is not the first time Iranian officials have warned of widespread discontent due to poverty.
In June 2020, a former Iranian official said that Iranians would revolt against the regime in the near future as Iran’s currency hit a new low against the dollar. Mostafa Tajzadeh, a former minister of interior and culture during the government of Khatami in the late 90s, warned the regime that “a new phenomenon of rebellious citizens who have become disillusioned with the ballot box and reforms” has appeared in Iran and that “they may take to the streets at any moment”.
In October 2020, a politician from the so-called “reformist” faction 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.”