- "Something seems to be going on in the context of society, and a whole new spectrum of politics is emerging.'
- "Iranian society is experiencing poverty that can be called truly catastrophic and is getting more and more catastrophic."
- Two months after a letter written by civil society activists to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, four women activists repeated a demand that Khamenei must step down and change the constitution.
A number of people around Iran are calling for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down from power. Some people believe that the situation is so bad despite the repression, new groups are joining and demanding Khamenei to step down, and the move will continue.
On Sunday, August 12, a number of people were arrested in front of the Mashhad judiciary. They rallied to protest against Kamal Jafari Yazdi’s sentence. He is a political activist and one of the four signatories to a letter written to the Supreme Leader in June asking him to resign.
Tasnim News Agency wrote about the group, saying they were “from the counter-revolutionary people” who “came together to disturb Mashhad.” Tasnim accused the group of being “affiliated with counter-revolutionary groups from foreign countries” and “having a mission to continue intermittent riots in the city by creating insecurity.” Similar accusations were made by Hossein Sherafati Rad, Director General of Security and Law Enforcement at Khorasan Governorate, Young Journalists Club.
Two months after a letter written by civil society activists to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, four women activists repeated a demand that Khamenei must step down and change the constitution. Both groups consider the cause of Iranian misery and the backwardness of the Islamic Republic for forty years as the cause of the people’s misery. This time, however, the issue was not limited to four people. Narges Mansouri, as a women rights activist is another signatory, also was arrested on Monday.
Mohammed Mohebbi, a political analyst from Tehran who has been closely following recent events told reporters, “Something seems to be going on in the context of society, and a whole new spectrum of politics is emerging. Many who have been campaigning in favor of the so-called faction for the last two decades in the fight between the two factions of the government have now come to the conclusion that they must come up with a new plan.”
In his view, the people who signed the letters may have incurred a heavy cost, but the demand raised in these letters will be followed by other groups. He says: “Iranian society is experiencing poverty that can be called truly catastrophic and is getting more and more catastrophic. But a government that is unable to regulate economic conditions is unwilling to at least give social concessions to society and take even more devastating action. That is to say, there is a greater gap between the state and the nation’s institutions, and society is going through a phase of fear and conservatism.”
Mohebbi personally has spoken with two of those who signed the letter, saying, “I asked them not to be scared? Because even a simple criticism of the leader is expensive. Their answer was, fear of what? We’re in prison right now.”
What is now apparent is widespread support for the demand they have made on social networks. The signatories of the letter will be supported by wider sections of society. In Mohammed’s opinion, this hope is real. In these letters, he sees “a kind of citizen consciousness.”
“If those who write these letters are added and gradually joined by other groups of people, dealing with their signatories will be costly for the government,” he says. Mohebbi cites recent arrests and says: “The arrests have started, unfortunately, but the specters who signed the letters do not belong to a specific group. When you look at names, they are anonymous names that come from the bottom of the community and are mentioned in the text. These can be role models. Their demands have the potential to expand despite these arrests, and these names will continue. ”
In his view, the fear of being arrested and the “hammering of the government” may only slow down the process. “They have the courage to move on, and none of them have the limits that stereotypical political activists have in mind. That is why, with my knowledge of the political space of Iranian society, these letters will be repeated.”