Former Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani, who was barred from running for president in 2021, has warned that the Islamic Republic is on the brink of decline and collapse.
Although the speech discussed the political ideas of the 10th-century philosopher Avicenna, Larijani’s speech was full of modern political jargon, including job creation, economic development, political participation and competitiveness. As Iranian journalist Amir Reza Nazari from Mostaghel Daily wrote in a tweetIn an obvious analogy to the current Iranian government, “Larijani warned that the continuation of the current situation
Larijani was appointed head of relations with China by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
in Iran will lead to the demise and collapse of the regime.”
Larijani and other candidates were barred from taking part in the presidential elections last June, which ensures hardliner Ebrahim Raisi’s election. Back then, many predicted the end of “the end of the Larijani era.”
In the speech posted on Larijani’s official Telegram channelhe said: “The theory of the Islamic revolution was based on rationality and Islamic philosophy, but gradually the Islamic Republic became a populist government.”
Larijani frequently drew analogies between Avicenna’s theory of governance and the current clerical political system. Larijani quoted Avicenna as saying that “a desirable government is a government that can create jobs for the citizens”. Larijani explained how human societies fail, adding that “only a legitimate government that respects the law will not face collapse.
He explained that breakdown occurs within societies. “It’s not a foreign invasion that destroys societies. A foreign invasion always exploits flaws within the system.” Larijani said in another part of his speech that “governments that are too strict or too lax lead to corruption and chaos in society. If the leaders cannot convince the citizens, they will not trust the government and society will collapse.”
According to news website Rouydad24, political observers interpret the appearance as a signal that Larijani wants to take the lead in reviving the moderate and reformed camp in Iran. The website added that the speech was part of Larijani’s political manifesto.
As part of his new vision for a political society based on Avicenna’s theory, Larijani said: “There should be political participation [in Iran] and economic activities should be based on competition.” Meanwhile, he stressed that “the existence of a middle class is necessary for the restoration of justice in any society.” Economists in Iran have done so recently accused hardliners of destroying the country’s middle class and the elites are confronted in a hostile confrontation with the underprivileged working class.
According to Rouydad24, Iran’s reform and moderation camp is missing a figurehead following the death of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Larijani is now trying to fill the political vacuum left by the pragmatic figurehead.
Larijani’s background as the son of a Grand Ayatollah, a former IRGC officer, a man who studied pure mathematics and philosophy in the United States and Iran, and a career politician who secured parliamentary approval for the 2015 nuclear deal, makes him close an ideal candidate for the position. Those seen as reformists and moderates would welcome the emergence of a leader after being repeatedly locked out of the political system by hardliners since 2020.
However, his weak point is his brothers’ involvement in Lang Grabs and financial corruption, which former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad revealed in the very parliament that Ali Larijani presided over in the 2010s.
The website Rouydad24 also said that Larijani’s reference to how the political system could collapse is a serious warning to Iran’s leaders, who have lost popular trust.