Report: Iran's rulers face legal crisis amid escalating popular anger
[url=https://www.thebaghdadpost.com/ar/Story/t/134391/%D8%AD%D9%83%D8%A7%D9%85 %D8%A5%D9%8A%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86][size=13]Iran's[/url] clerical [url=https://www.thebaghdadpost.com/ar/Story/t/134391/%D8%AD%D9%83%D8%A7%D9%85 %D8%A5%D9%8A%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86]rulers[/url] face [url=https://www.thebaghdadpost.com/ar/Story/t/134391/%D8%AD%D9%83%D8%A7%D9%85 %D8%A5%D9%8A%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86]the[/url] threat of [url=https://www.thebaghdadpost.com/ar/Story/t/134392/%D8%A3%D8%B2%D9%85%D8%A9 %D8%B4%D8%B1%D8%B9%D9%8A%D8%A9]a legal crisis[/url] amid mounting [url=https://www.thebaghdadpost.com/ar/Story/t/45762/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%BA%D8%B6%D8%A8 %D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B4%D8%B9%D8%A8%D9%8A]public anger[/url] over the way their country dealt with a passenger plane crash, as it took the army three days to admit that it was the result of an Iranian missile that was fired in error.
Amidst growing public anger and international criticism, the IRGC's admission of responsibility for the plane crash has shattered the national unity that was demonstrated after the country's most influential leader was killed in a US airstrike in Iraq on January 3.
However, since the crash of the Ukraine International Airlines plane on Wednesday, January 8, in an accident that Canada and the United States said early on that it was because of an Iranian missile, though in error, social media has been criticized by the ruling establishment. All 176 people on board were killed on a trip to Kiev.
This situation does not bode well for the February parliamentary elections, when [url=https://www.thebaghdadpost.com/ar/Story/t/134391/%D8%AD%D9%83%D8%A7%D9%85 %D8%A5%D9%8A%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86]Iran's rulers[/url] usually seek to achieve a high turnout to demonstrate their legitimacy even if the result does not change any major policy.
Instead, they now face a new wave of discontent following the anti-government protests that killed hundreds of people in November.
Where the Iranian leadership mismanaged the position of the Ukrainian plane,
while a former senior official who asked not to be named said, "It is a very sensitive time for the institution." They face a serious credibility problem. They not only concealed the truth, but mishandled the situation. ”
Since the Islamic revolution in 1979, clerics in Iran have succeeded in overcoming challenges to their grip on power. But the kind of distrust between rulers and the ruled that started in the 2019 protests may have deepened now.
"There will be a blow to the credibility of the regime in the short term and this will help put pressure on the system as a result of the economic and political problems it faced before the recent confrontation with the United States," commented Daniel Biman, senior foreign policy researcher at the Brookings Institution for Middle East Policy.
Meanwhile, video footage on Twitter showed protesters in Tehran on January 11, chanting "Death to the dictator", in reference to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Reuters was not able to independently verify the footage. This was followed by severe criticism in Iran.
For its part, the Revolutionary Guards apologized for dropping the plane, saying that the air defenses fired by mistake during a high alert. Iran was expecting retaliatory US operations after responding to the killing of Soleimani by firing missiles at two Iraqi bases hosting American forces.
A conservative official said that the mistake should not be turned into a political weapon against the institution and the Revolutionary Guards, a force parallel to the traditional army directly commanded by Khamenei and protecting the religious system.
While the security official told Reuters, "Let's avoid extreme cruelty. It was a sensitive time and everyone was in trouble. "You cannot ignore what the guards have done to protect the nation and this country since the revolution."
But Khamenei, who has long been cited by turnout as a sign of the legitimacy of the religious regime, may now find that the Iranians are not keen to show their support.
Hisham Ghanbari, a university student in Tehran, said: "Why should I vote for this regime?" I don't trust them at all. They lied to us about the plane crash. Why should I trust them when they don't trust people enough to tell the truth? ''
As the government tries to tackle the economic crisis in light of the US sanctions, for
its part, the government is already making strenuous efforts to keep the wheel of the economy running in light of the increasingly severe US sanctions imposed by Washington after its withdrawal in 2018 from Tehran's nuclear agreement with world powers. And vital oil exports have shrunk dramatically.
Sanam Wakil, senior researcher for the Middle East and North Africa program at the Chatham House, said: "This tragedy will not be forgotten and will not be easy to overcome for the people subject to sanctions and pressure not only from abroad but also from the state."
"This incident is a stark reminder of the severe lack of governance," Sanam said.
The religious system has survived even more severe challenges in the past, including the eight-year war with Iraq in the 1980s.
But his strong support base of the poor, middle-class lower classes that have benefited most from state support in the past was among the first to take to the streets in November in protests fueled by high gasoline prices, a particularly sensitive issue as many depend On cheap fuel.
The protesters' demands soon turned into political demands, including calls for the rulers to resign, before the authorities crushed the protests.
But despite this, the downing of the plane is a major blow to the regime
Knowing that the Iranian forces downed the plane, whether by mistake or not, is another blow, as the Iranian angry comments flooded social media. Many complained that the authorities spent more time denying that they were responsible for the crash than they had in sympathy for the families of the victims.
Ray Taqiyeh, senior researcher on Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, said: "It was a shock to the masses. Once again, the regime kills its people indifferently. ”
"This dispels the already false account that the killing of Soleimani had united the Iranian people behind his government," he added.
In addition to voting to select members of parliament, the February 21 elections will also see the selection of members of the Assembly of Experts, a religious body that will in the future be responsible for choosing an 80-year-old successor to Khamenei.
On the other hand, there are no restrictions on the term of Khamenei, who holds the position of supreme leader since the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic in 1989.