Friday , 19 July 2024

The New Iranian Year ‘Last Chance’ For Regime, Pundits Say

iranintl – Analysts in Iran are evaluating the country’s prospects for recovery and embarking on a path towards development after years of setbacks in domestic and foreign policy, and the economy.

Reza Alijani, a reform-minded religious-nationalist political observer, penned a Persian article for Iran International suggesting that the new Iranian year, beginning on March 20, is poised to be characterized by “chaos and disillusionment in the upper echelons and challenge and erosion in the lower depths” of Iranian society.

Alijani asserts that with the increasing empowerment of radical forces, the social sphere is unlikely to open up; instead, more restrictions may be imposed to suppress militant women opposing the compulsory hijab rule.

Moreover, the ongoing battle between dissatisfied youths and the rigid minority opposing modern lifestyles is expected to persist. Alijani suggests that beneath the surface, public dissent simmers, poised to erupt fueled by frustration over declining livelihoods and resentment toward the lifestyle promoted by hardliners.

Within the government, as the new parliament convenes in the summer, internal strife is expected to intensify. This year, preparations for the upcoming presidential election in 2025 will also commence, further fueling chaos and infighting among the upper echelons of power.

Simultaneously, a complex chess game will unfold among clerics and politicians, shaping the landscape for succession and the post-Khamenei era of the Islamic Republic.

Additionally, Alijani predicts that foreign-based opposition groups will become more radical, while there may also be opportunities for moderates to emerge. This could pave the way for the establishment of an efficient democracy after a transitional period.

Reformist commentator Abbas Abdi characterized the new year as the last opportunity for the regime to come to its senses and begin a process to bring the country to cohesion and progress. The new year, he wrote in Tehran’s Etemad newspaper, marks the need for the government to wake up and accept to bring about or surrender to changes in domestic and foreign policies, as well as in the economy.

In his commentary headlined as “Year of reforms, Year of Awakening,” Abdi wrote that “last year was the end of dreams and wishful thinking and the new year is an opportunity for awakening and change.” He added that although the current wishful thinking in the government based on illusions was once tried under the Ahmadinejad administration in the2010s, toward the end of that period even hardliners looked forward to its end.

The new wave of ultraconservatism which started in 2021 by the coming to power of Ebrahim Raisi as President was marked by a surge in “political purification”. It is now evident that this process will never end. The new ultraconservatives refused to take a lesson from the fate of their predecessors, but the latest low-turnout elections in Iran should be proof got them that without changing their ways, everyone can drown in an unpredictable storm.

Abdi expressed the belief that hardliners have now realized that political purification cannot help materialize the unrealistic promises they made at the beginning of their government. Now the people have lost all hope and trust in the government and its promises.

However, knowing the Iranian regime, the idea of an awakening is more out of reach than ever. Describing the grim situation, Massoud Pezeshkian, an MP from Tabriz, told Rouydad24 website: “I have no answers for the people’s questions. Every morning they wake up to higher prices. Slightly more than a year is remaining from the lifetime of this government. What has it done for the people so far? Rising prices are breaking the people’s back and I have no answer for their questions.”