Iran’s Faezeh Rafsanjani speaks


After forty years, prominent Iranian politician Faezeh, the daughter of the Iranian pragmatic symbol, some prefer to call him the reformist, Hashemi Rafsanjani, emerged to clearly state: “The experience is over. We failed. The Khomeini experience has failed.”

In an interview on an online channel, Faezeh attacked the Islamic Republic regime and emphasized that it has horribly failed and even “destroyed Islam.”

“Like everyone, we believed the Islamic Republic would succeed but the Iranian Islamic government did not only fail but it also destroyed Islam,” Faezeh said.

She added, shooting an arrow into the heart of Khomeini’s sacredness, the supreme leader himself, and commented on the source of the disease: “Giving the supreme leader the title of the imam shields him from criticism, hence we cannot criticize the supreme leader. Criticizing the supreme leader in Iran today is a crime. If this person, (however), does not want to be criticized, he should step down. I am against giving the imam title to any figure who works in the procedural authorities in Iran because this will end with creating a dictatorship.”

Opposition within the regime

Faezeh is of course a politician by instinct, like her father Hashemi Rafsanjani, one of the “founding fathers” of the Khomeini regime who inherited the Shah’s kingdom. She has announced her opposition from inside Iran for years. Last June, she came under the oppression of the Revolutionary Guards’ men and judges. She criticized the Iranian regime’s policies and interferences in Syria and Yemen and said these policies, along with the regime’s suppression of popular protests inside Iran, will topple the regime.

Faezeh is not the only one from among the elite of the builders of the Iranian revolutionary Islamic regime to sharply and deeply criticize the regime’s structure, vision and policies. By the way, she has also criticized the Revolutionary Guard’s permeation in Iranian life and strongly refused her country’s destructive interference in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.

The question is what is the “practical” value of these stances and can they undermine the cohesion of the strong Khomeini structure? On the short and perhaps medium term, these stances only scratch the thick surface of Khomeini glass but they will not break the network of interests and benefits that are shielded with iron bars that consist of security forces, troops and fatwas (religious edicts) as well.

The frequency of such stances though shatters the sanctity of the Khomeini experience inside and outside Iran. Before that there were the stances of former Khomeini elite like Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and even Ahmedinejad himself.

Perhaps these media attacks mean that some have begun to jump off the Khomeini ship that’s staggering under the raging international waves.

I think these statements’ deep significance is that they are deep and influential condemnation of “all” Islamists’ experiences, both Sunni and Shiite. This means Hamas, Ennahda and the Brotherhood in Gaza, Tunisia and Egypt. And now we await the condemnation of the Turkish Erdogan experience. We await another Faezeh in Turkey.

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