Speaking during last week’s Friday prayers in Tehran, this senior Iranian cleric said that many controversies are currently shaking the core of the Islamic Republic’s regime, warning that these problems are damaging the faith of younger generations.
The unnamed cleric said, “There are many political and controversial issues emerging and being revealed in the country, which all the people are paying attention to. But when a manufacturing factory closes and 50 to 60 workers lose their jobs and if they want their wages they have to go from one office to another and finally they’re met with truncheons or receive no answer. Why should these things happen?”
He continued, “Why 20 to 30 years after approving rules and regulations for banks don’t we review and reconsider them in order to change them? Perhaps these old regulations might be ineffectual and inappropriate, helping to weaken and destroy our economy”. “There are some issues that we’ve forgotten and neglected. We’ve entered a state of lethargy that’s led us to forget about these issues”.
“The cleric further warned about the dangers of the modern world, saying, “Why should we ignore the marriage issue facing our young generation? Our social situation is not good because times have changed. Some people are still living as though it were 50 years ago”.
He admitted by indicating that “today our young people’s days and nights are lived in the virtual realm. They live with movies, they live with satellite. They live through social media and even with the media inside the country. They have grown distant from physical activities like sports and going to the Mosque. If our young people follow this path, if our society follows this path, then nobody will be able to repair and compensate for the damage inflicted upon the whole of society.”
The senior regime cleric asserted the need for remedial action, saying, “We must have a logical and correct plan to at least take advantage of the strengths, potentials, and capabilities of our people. We must pay attention and take notice of the issue of marriage [a reference to the financial and employment problems facing young people wishing to marry], we must pay attention to the rate of divorce, the rates of addiction and drug abuse. What we see of internal disputes among regime parties, circulating rumors of scandals [over corruption and embezzlement], accusing each other and marginalizing and excluding [other regime parties] prevents people from listening and distracts them from alertness to what is going on, and we should really be fearful of the outcome [a reference to regime fears over the possibility of a popular uprising and backlash against the regime].
The senior cleric even indirectly criticized the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, saying, “God does not have any pact of brotherhood or any kinship with anyone who says ‘Okay I will preserve and keep you’, apparently a veiled criticism of Khamenei, who claims to be appointed by God],” adding, “We must be on the right path.” Perhaps wishing to retract his criticism of Khamenei and to forestall any condemnation, the cleric concluded, “The Supreme Leader’s primary concern is exactly what I have mentioned concerning these issues. “Today we under delusional excuses that are distancing our young people from us. We are not using from their potential and their capacity. In many areas such in scientific, political, sport, art and many other areas