Former Official Tells Iran's Khamenei, 'Start Reforms To Prevent Chaos, Economic Collapse'
An outspoken reformist figure in Iran has called on political figures of all political factions to talk to the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader AIi Khamenei and tell him to initiate reforms that would save Iran from a fate similar to regional countries.
Mostafa Tajzadeh, a former deputy interior minister under President Mohammad Khatami in the late 1990s and early 2000s, said in a video posted on his Twitter page on Saturday October 3: "I decided to address Khamenei because I am worried about the future. I believe there is no time for appeasing and pleasing the leader."
In an apparent allusion to the chaotic situation in countries such as Syria, Libya and Iraq, Tajzadeh said: "It is time to tell Khamenei that he should initiate reforms in the country if he does not want Iran to end up in a situation similar to regional states."
He said: "Khamenei is in a unique situation as he can start major reforms in Iran without anyone protesting. No one else has or will have the same kind of power in Iran."
Tajzadeh said that Khamenei can "initiate a review of the Constitutional Law. He can amend some of its articles and can initiate major developments in the society without having to face protests." He warned: "If Khamenei fails to do that, I do not see any hope in the future."
Tajzadeh further warned that if Khamenei refuses to start reforms in his political system: "Either there will be major protests, or like North Korea the military will take over. Of course, I do not think the military would succeed in Iran, but the consequences will be grave anyway."
In the video, Tajzadeh is being interviewed by someone, but it is not clear whether it is an interview produced by Tajzadeh's office, it was produced by another media outlet. There is also no indication of when the interview was recorded.
It is a dangerous business to tell Khamenei what to do and almost everyone who has written an open letter to him or warned him in any other way in recent years, with the exception of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and leftist cleric Mohammad Khoiniha, has ended up in jail. Tajzadeh's comments are a bit different because he is demanding moves from Khamenei which are within the frameworks of the Islamic Republic. He does not ask for a regime change. In fact, he is warning Khamenei about the possibility of a regime change as a result of growing dissent.
Tajzadeh said in the video: "This was a problem in Iran under the Shah. There was no dialogue between the nation and the Shah in the 1970s. And then when suddenly the protests started, he was asking about where his people were."
Tajzadeh was careful not to fully compare Khamenei with the Shah and immediately added that the situation is different in the Islamic Republic, but if attention is not paid to the demands of the people the same thing can repeat itself.
Tajzadeh's remark was similar to what former Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan wrote in an open letter to the Shah when liberal Freedom Movement members were arrested by the secret police in the early 1970s. He wrote that liberals are probably the last generation of Iranians who voiced their dissent in letters and warned that the next generation will speak through the mouth of guns.
Tajzadeh said elsewhere in his remarks: "In Iran's situation today. The role of the leader is an exceptional one and cannot be compared to anyone else's role. I hope he makes ample use of this opportunity in the interest of the future generation who would definitely appreciate his reforms and his initiative that prevents chaos, economic collapse and further protests."
Asked what has prompted him to talk openly about Khamenei's choices, Tajzadeh said: "It is mainly because the situation is serious. I fear what might happen."
He also said that Iranian conservatives feel the same way and talk about it in their private meetings, but they say something else and behave differently outside their meetings. "That is a mistake. It is time to openly tell Khamenei: 'You can do it. And you need to introduce reforms. You have an exceptional part to play.' And if we all speak openly, I believe he would accept what we say."