A senior Iranian regime official, who was notably ordered by the Supreme Leader to resign after serving only one week as former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Vice President in 2009, has condemned the regime over the living conditions of ordinary Iranians, asserting that these violate the revolutionary principles on which the Islamic Republic was founded, and suggesting that only when ageing regime leadership officials die will there be any improvements.
Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, a hardliner who retained a ministerial post in the Ahmadinejad administration even after his forced resignation, serving as Chief of Staff from 2009 to 2013, remains a close ally of Ahmadinejad, is known for his similar populist views. He made his comments in a speech, seen in the footage here, during a pre-election campaign visit on April 19 this year to the remote poverty-stricken tribal region of Lur Bakhtiari, saying: “Forty years have passed since the Islamic revolution. What is the world like today, although forty years have passed since the Islamic revolution, yet the living conditions that our dear people face today are not commensurate with the ideals of the revolution which were raised at the start of the revolution . These living conditions are not right for a people who brought about a big revolution in Iran. Major reforms must take place in the country. Critical changes must be brought about in the country . Justice must be implemented in the country. Opportunities must be given to all ethnic groups in the country. We did not make the revolution to remove the ruling class which possessed the power only to replace it with a different class that must dominate the seat of power for dozens of years and doesn’t give any opportunities to others to reach power. This is wrong(59”). Our Imam Khomeini did not instruct such things, our Imam Khomeini believed that serving the people is the greatest source of pride . We must do something for the young people of this country, no matter where they’re from, which ethnicity, tribe or sect, so that they can have hope that in this country they can be a minister in the future, can become a lawyer, can be president. It should not be like this – if someone wants to reach a position, then there must be a powerful party standing behind him, or well-off people standing behind him so that he will support power or wealth. Instead of this, we must rely on the people from the start of our revolution, when we chanted ‘Not Eastern or Western, only an Islamic Republic’. This means that our fulcrum is the people. The revolution must pay attention to the people; we must remove discrimination and make equal opportunities available to everyone. We must eliminate discrimination and offer equal opportunities for everyone. Some [regime leadership] officials have come in and taken over the positions and responsibilities, and I swear to God that I think nobody but Azrael, the Angel of Death, and nobody else could take their positions from them. Well, why should it be like this? Why? Why must the country be repaired and restored through death [after the death of these officials]?”