A senior official said today that Iranians did not trust the state due to the regime’s years of “lies and lack of transparency”. Speaking to Etemad state-run daily, Ahmad Tavakoli acknowledged the people’s widespread distrust and dissatisfaction with the regime.
The member of the Expediency Discernment Council cited “the accumulation of a thousand dilemmas” as the reason behind the growing distrust.
“Whatever we say, the people say it is a lie. We have to accept the fact that we have lied to the people and now the people have reached this conclusion and call us liars,” Tavakoli, who Etemad Daily called a trusted senior official, said.
Ahmad Tavakoli represented Tehran in Iran’s parliament for four terms and was a former Minister of Labor. He is a current member of the Expediency Discernment Council, which has an advisory role to the Supreme Leader. All the members of the Council are handpicked by Ali Khamenei. The current Chair of the Council, Sadeq Larijani, is Ahmad Tavakoli’s cousin.
“When a large number of officials in a political system lie to the people about issues and problems and cover up the truth, the people generalize this action to all the officials of that political system and do not say, for example, only one person lied and others did not,” he said.
“We have turned into the ‘Boy Who Cried Wolf’ and have to accept the fact that the people’s trust in us officials has decreased quite a bit compared to the past”, Ahmad Tavakoli said.
Unfair trials for political prisoners
Tavakoli said that one of the reasons behind the people’s skepticism was unfair judicial proceedings especially when it came to political cases.
“The discrepancies in political cases have a far worse effect. We need to know that the situation gets much worse when we deal with such political and social issues,” he said.
Tavakoli also criticized the regime’s Bonyads, controlled by the Supreme Leader, for their lack of transparency and corruption.
Lack of transparency
Citing the Mostazafan Foundation, one of the wealthiest bonyads in the Islamic Republic of Iran, he said that “some people had stolen property” from the Foundation.
He implied that the assets of the so-called charity Foundation, which is the biggest holding company in the Middle East, have been used for officials and regime organizations instead of being used for impoverished Iranians, as was originally intended.
Tavakoli said that Iranians did not trust any of the regime’s organizations adding that they were more “partial” towards bonyads because they answered only to Khamenei.
“If there is a fault in these bonyads, the authorities in charge must be beaten very hard,” he added.
The Expediency Discernment Council member said that he had directly proposed a transparency plan to Khamenei’s Office in 2018 but that his plan was not was accepted.
Ahmad Tavakoli’s solution to the “dangerous situation” of distrust among the people was what he called “shock therapy”.
“We have to take measures that the people think would not be possible in the Islamic Republic. That is when people say to each other ‘some incidents that were not possible in the Islamic Republic took place, so changes are being made,’” he added.
A disgraced Islam
The senior official also accused the regime of “defaming Islam”. “We have blown the horn from the opposite side for years. These are the issues that have brought about this situation, taking us further away from Islam. We have and are defaming Islam,” he said.
It all comes down to Khamenei
What Tavakoli failed to mention was that Iranians mistrusted the regime’s Supreme Leader above all. As the most powerful and therefore most corrupt figure in the regime, Khamenei’s estimated wealth is around $200 billion, according to the US Embassy in Baghdad.
During recent rounds of protests that started out against the dire state of the economy and in major protests mostly by Iranian students against the regime’s downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane in January, protesters chanted specifically against Khamenei. Thousands of angry Iranians chanted, “Commander in Chief, resign resign”, “Khamenei is a murderer and his rule is not valid”, “Our Leader is our disgrace”, and “Death to the Velayat-e Faghih (Khamenei)” while taking down Khamenei’s pictures and stomping on them.