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Khomeini's Grandson Criticizes The Islamic Republic His Grandfather Founded

Reformist cleric Hassan Khomeini, speaking at his grandfather's former residence, December 29, 2018

Hassan Khomeyni, the grandson of Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini (Khomeyni), the man who founded the Islamic Republic in 1979, says there is no guarantee that clerical rule can continue in Iran.

In a sign of disillusionment and an unprecedented criticism of the political system in Iran, Hassan Khomeini said: "Continuous fragmentation of society; spreading hatred, grudge, hypocrisy, double standards and dishonesty is a bad sign for the government."

Speaking at Khomeyni's former residence in Tehran on Saturday December 29, the young Khomeini, also a cleric, said "Nothing should be imposed on the people in the Iranian society."

His reference to “spreading hatred” and “grudge” could be seen as veiled remarks directed at the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who is intolerant towards the West, Israel and domestic critics, many of whom languish either in prisons or under house arrest.

He added in a warning to the government, "If we see our principles have faded and we are sticking to rudimentary matters, this is an alarming sign that our society has problems."

The remarks by Khomeini's grandson came two days after the daughter of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani lashed out at the Islamic Republic and President Hassan Rouhani for their inefficiency.

Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in an interview with daily newspaper Mostaghel (Independent) in Tehran on Thursday, December 27 that the Islamic Republic has become devoid of content although no physical decline of the regime has happened yet.

"It is likely that the physical decline of the regime also could happen," adding that "although the Islamic Republic is deep rooted, its owes its strength mainly to intimidation and terror."

Ms. Hashemi further stressed that the one reason there has not been a regime change in Iran is that the people do not know what will happen to them and who will take over power after the Islamic Republic.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L) kisses Hassan Khomeini, grandson of the founder of Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during the 21st anniversary of Khomeini's death. Tehran, June 4, 2010
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L) kisses Hassan Khomeini, grandson of the founder of Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during the 21st anniversary of Khomeini's death. Tehran, June 4, 2010

Members of Khomeini and Hashemi-Rafsanjani's families lost their official positions in various places including the Azad University after Rafsanjani's death in January 2017. This could be a reason for their disgruntlement, although Ms. Hashemi has always been vocal against mismanagement and inefficiency even when she was Tehran's leading MP in mid 1990s and was jailed for six months for taking part in protest demonstrations that followed the disputed presidential election in 2009.

"Every group of people have some of their members in jail… Many workers, teachers, truckers, women's right activists, environmentalists, university students, economic activists and others are either in jail or have a verdict that would land them in jail at one point," she said.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Reza Tajik, a political adviser to former reformist President Mohammad Khatami in an interview with reformist Etemad Online website likened Iran's current situation to the "Titanic in turbulent waters," adding that the problem was caused by "faulty structure of the ship, the performance of those who are steering it, the behavior of those on board, and the tempest that has created a whirlwind around the vessel."

Tajik said about the current political chaos in Iran, "every group, individual and institution is alienated from its natural function. There are no points of reference in the Iranian society while traditions, culture and customs are gradually losing their attraction."

He said the only solution for Iran is "reform," but regretted that "some reformists are following their individual interests in the name of reforms."

The remarks by the three figures coincided with the anniversary of major protest demonstrations that shook Iran for several weeks in late December 2017 and early January 2018 in over 100 cities.

Protests against injustice, discrimination, financial hardships, widespread corruption, waste of Iran's resources to nurture Khamenei's regional ambitions, among other things, continued throughout the year as workers, teachers, students, women, environmentalists, truckers and many other groups took to the streets in an almost daily basis.

A police chief in Khuzestan province admitted in December that his forces had to tackle 650 labor protests only during the first nine months of the current year.