By Jubin Katiraie
At the beginning of the November uprising, Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei said, “I don’t have any knowledge” (about the gasoline price hike), trying to beat his own criticism over the rise in gas prices by showing that his position as the Supreme Leader was higher than that of the rest of the regime.
This huge gap was widely reflected in Iran’s and foreign media, and they all highlighted that as a leader, instead of accepting responsibility, he is relentlessly trying to absolve himself from any responsibility.
Khamenei as the top authority of the country has had the last word on all matters of state for more than 30 years, but how he disregards himself is puzzling!
Another important point is that in the same speech, Khamenei threatened the people and sent his Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and Basijis to repress the people, showing that he would show his true face whenever he needed. In less than five days, his assassins killed more than 600 protesters on the streets around Iran and the shocking number is hiking very fast.
Rouhani did not know either!
Ten days after the November uprising, after the international community’s condemnation of the regime intensified, it was time for the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to try to distance himself as much as he could from the crimes he and his regime have committed.
He too, with his own delusions, tried to rid himself of the responsibility for these crimes by laughing and saying “I didn’t know it either.”
“Like all the people, on Friday morning, I saw that the price of gasoline has changed,” he said. (FARS 27 November 2019)
After such a stupid statement, the regime’s media from both regime factions seized the opportunity and ridiculed him.
State-run media Resalat wrote, “Is a president’s lack of awareness of something of such importance good or bad?”
“The president said, ‘I found out on Friday that gasoline has been rationed!'” wrote Kayhan in a humorous column.
State-run Arman wrote: “No matter what the president says, I know or don’t know about the gas rationing date, his responsibility for the plan is not negated.”
The Jahan-e Sanat website concludes in an article: “The escape-from-obligation virus about the new economic policy has also spread to the president.”
And the last reflection goes back to former Tehran mayor Gholmhossein Karbaschi, who tweeted to Rouhani: “As a supporter of this government drowning in shame, I was disappointed by the last night’s interview of the Minister of Interior and been doubly disappointed with today laughing’s of the President. Feel a little fair and measure.” (State-run website Mashreq 28 November 2019)
The Mardom Salari newspaper cites the denials of the three branches for agreeing to a gasoline price: “When an important decision, such as a gas quota, must be made on the basis of an expert opinion, after the decision of the heads of state is made because of the consequences of chaos and riots, who is going to pass up the consequences of such a decision?
Death Toll in #IranProtests Surpasses 600 Wave of Arrests Continues. To date, the #MEK has published the identities of 194 of those killed, adding 15 new names only today. https://t.co/6OuxUuVUEQ#FreeAllProtesters #StopIranBloodshed
— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) December 1, 2019
“The government said that it was in favor of the 1,200-toman gasoline price?
“The head of the judiciary, who says he was opposed to rising gas prices like this?
“The parliament, which had no knowledge at all and a speaker who was just silent? Who must the people ask?”
Entekhab writes in an article: “Certainly the recent statements of the President that reminds the people of Ahmadinejad’s were not credible to the overwhelming majority of political observers nor to the people. Making such remarks will not solve a single issue of the country’s affairs while raising the level of public mistrust.” (State-run media Entekhab 28 November 2019)
The confessions of the regime’s leaders showed that they were taken aback by the rage and anger of the people and the rebellious youth and were shocked by the amount of hatred the people showed for attacking and destroying government centers.
Each of them tried to discredit or sympathize with the problems of the people in order to distance themselves from the crimes of the regime in killing the angry people.
— Iran Focus (@Iran_Focus) November 29, 2019
After the uprising, vice president Eshagh Jahangiri said, “If we feel we have made a mistake in our decision-making, we will certainly reform. The government had listened to the voice and the protest of the people and respect it” (State-run media Entekhab 28 November 2019).
Mohamad Javad Abtahi, a member of parliament, said: “I know from credible sources that [Judiciary Chief Ebrahim] Raisi has signed the meeting transcript of the Heads of State to raise gas prices and set rations.” (Mardom Salari, 28 November 2019)
The fact that causes so much confusion and repetition of “I do not know, I do not specialize, I’m not well informed” among the leaders reflected itself is the protests and the uprising of the Iranian people. It proves that the project of gasoline price hiking is a total failure.
— Iran Focus (@Iran_Focus) November 28, 2019
A few days after the start of the gas price hike, fruit and vegetable prices, car rental prices and other things rose as well. This increase is affecting the revenue generated by the rising cost of gasoline.
Another awful thing about this inhuman project is the discussion of paying subsidies as a subsistence allowance to the 60 million Iranians who make up more than three-quarters of the population. In other words, this is a clear confession that the 60 million people live in such a state of poverty that they need 50,000 tomans (approx. $4) a month in subsidies to survive.