Cleric Mohammad Reza Zaeri
[Cleric Mohammad Reza Zaeri talks about the class difference in Iran, saying that people are upset about discrimination, injustice, and favoritism in the country.]
Mohammad Reza Zaeri: When we talk to people on streets, we see that they do not complain about being poor. People complain about class difference. They complain about discriminations.
Host: Or perhaps about not being seen.
Mohammad Reza Zaeri: They complain about favoritism. There is this famous proverb which says, collective mourning is like a wedding. They say, if we all have nothing, then that is OK. You must remember that during the time of imposed war [between Iran and Iraq] and the beginning of the revolution, there was no kerosene at any homes.
When there was a gallon of kerosene, three households shared it. If someone was shivering with cold at night, he was sure that his neighbors too would be shivering with cold. If I felt that my child has no new clothes for Nowruz [beginning of new year in Iran], but that person’s child has bought five new clothes; if I felt that I don’t have money to buy stuff for setting my Haft Seen [traditional custom during Iranian new year holiday], but this or that person else is setting his Haft Seen on a foreign trip;
if I felt that I only have a dingy bicycle which always has a flat tire, but each family member of this or that person has a brand-new car; then that is not tolerable. People never say why we are poor. They say why there is no equality and justice in the society. Why is there so much class difference? Many countries that do not claim to be Islamic and religious and don’t believe in God are absolutely lawful. There they say that the ratio of incomes must be defined. If worker’s salary is about one million tomans, then the ministers must be paid three times more at most.