You may have seen it in the news or came across it in social media. There was a massive flood in the Khuzestan region of southeastern Iran.
Tens of people were dead. All that was left after the flood was disgrace and catastrophe. There was no sign of the President, Khamenei, or any of the religious leaders.
Khuzestan is one of the most strategically important regions of Iran. 70% of the country’s oil as well as almost all of its natural gas is produced here. There is a significant Shiite Arab population there. The CIA papers released in 2013 mention Khuzestan as Iran’s Achilles tendon. And the situation there is as critical as it has ever been.
Kasım Suleymani, commander of the Jerusalem Brigade of the Revolutionary Guard often shows up in photos taken in Iraq. But we haven’t seen him in Khuzestan. He only made it to a small village near the flooded area. And he had to ride in a Red Crescent vehicle to get there. The regime is well aware that the people are angry at them, and they’ve had enough of the regime’s incompetency. Khuzestan has the most barren lands in Iran, but the same distress and problems are prevalent everywhere in Iran. The regime never managed to provide a decent infrastructure. People heading the public institutions and the revolutionary organizations are not competent people, they are basically random guys hanging around Khamanei. The fact is this corrupt and unskillful regime cannot run Iran. A bit of too much rain and you have flooding everywhere. Regime’s prominent figures are scared to go to Khuzestan, so instead, Iran has invited Iraq’s Hashdi Shabis and Lebanon’s Hezbollah over. This is another trauma for the public in the region. People are saying “The devastating Iran-Iraq war was fought for nothing; regime has invited the Arabs over themselves.” You can’t blame them. Hashdi Shabi and Hezbollah are in the region, riding in armored vehicles and wielding deadly weapons under the pretext of bringing aid to the people affected.
While you have that on one hand, you have Sasha Sobhani on the other. This young man is the son of Iran’s ambassador to Venezuela. You can say he is the son of one of the top dogs in the regime. He is also an Instagram phenomenon. You can check out his page. There are plenty of women in lingerie, opulence, cars, unlimited cash flowing in his photos. Iranians are mad at him and they leave disparaging comments underneath his posts. Sasha Sobhani, in return, replies to the negative comments by posting videos in which he is insulting the viewers. He is often in Istanbul too, spending ridiculous amounts of oil-earned cash. Sasha’s account has tons of naked women in them, but his two most prominent posts are photos in which he is standing next to the foreign minister Zarif, and the other one where he has posed with ex-president Ahmadinejad.
Another phenomenon is Rasoul Tolouei whose father is a retired Revolutionary Guard commander. His Instagram account shows him petting his pet tiger or driving his Cadillac.
Islamist politics failed to deliver on its two basic pledges: equality and justice. Those who claim to be the most Shiite of them all, and those who supposedly pray the most apparently have no problem in spending their oil and natural gas money with no regards to religious rules or ethics. The new generation goes a step forward an proudly flaunts its excessive lifestyle. It used to be that the mullahs and the revolutionary guards would refrain from showing off and would live a private life. The new generation considers the riches as their basic right and have no problem shoving them in people’s faces.
The ones that suffer are the poor that get washed away in the flood.
Originally published in Turkish at: https://www.birgun.net/haber-detay/iranda-sel-ve-coken-islamci-siyaset.html