The United States’ decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal was followed by a conglomerate of contradictory reactions by the Iranian regime officials indicating that the decision was a severe blow to the regime’s nuclear and regional ambitions.
The disputes in the so-called Assembly of Experts, a body tasked to select the successor of the regime’s Supreme Leader, is a clear example of these reactions. This entity issued a statement on May 13 criticizing Iranian regime president Hassan Rouhani for the failure of Iran nuclear deal, while trying to whitewash any blame put on the shoulders of the regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.
However, following the publication of this statement, at least three members of the Assembly of Experts criticized the entire initiative, adding that such a statement does not represent the entire body.
This is seen as the continuation of factional feuding and political disputes, while the fact remains intact that tensions are rising to an unprecedented level inside the Iranian regime’s ranks and files.
These disputes are now between the most senior Iranian regime officials and all major entities, such as the Assembly of Experts, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), Rouhani’s cabinet, the judiciary and so forth.
Rifts exists inside these very entities. The regime’s so-called parliament is also the scene of factional feud and MPs disputing over who to blame. It is also unprecedented for the Assembly of Experts to issue a statement and individual members raising their voice to say such a statement does not represent their opinions or that of the entire body.
Rouhani’s so-called “moderate” faction and even his cabinet are also suffering from such a crisis. Khamenei himself is the main target of this entire finger-pointing. His recent remarks indicate his weak position and a losing image:
“I had said if you want to sign a contract, get the necessary guarantees and then close the deal. One of the conditions I placed forward was that the U.S. President must sign the document. Our honorable officials worked very hard, and yet failed… I don’t trust these three countries [referring to France, Germany and the United Kingdom]… If you were able to get the necessary guarantees, which I seriously doubt… If you aren’t able to get definitive guarantees, then we can no longer continue with the nuclear deal.”
Khamenei has time and again made several official statements, ِin his speech, changing his position on the Iran nuclear deal. While he tried every now and then to canvas the accord as “making of various officials”, attempting to distance himself from any negative consequences, it is well known that all the while, Iranian nuclear negotiators enjoyed his blessing to become completely involved in talks with the “Great Satan (the United States according to the mullahs)”.
Of course, those loyal to Rouhani did not remain silent and reminded Khamenei and his faction that the supreme leader blessed the nuclear talks from day one and continuously kept a close eye on the developments.
The main reason behind all these concerns for the regime officials is the very existence of an active opposition movement that continues to enrich the regime’s crises to higher levels.
The outcome of factional infighting in Iran is the empowerment of the Iranian people and Resistance. The Iranian regime is also losing the support of appeasers in the West.
Although the process may take some time, Tehran understands it better than all parties that the tides are changing and the balance of power is tilting against its favor, and in favor of the Iranian people and their organized Resistance providing a viable alternative for the mullahs’ ruling Iran for almost four decades.