(Persia Digest) – An Iranian expert of political affairs has said: “Certain remarks by some authorities of the Islamic Republic who said sanctions are a blessing is just taking advantage of a reasonable religious phrase to justify their shortcomings for mismanagement.”

On Friday, Hojjatoleslam Kazem Sedighy, Friday prayers Imam of Tehran, commented on the intensification of sanctions against Iran in an address to the people, saying: “God is testing us with international pressures. Why are you worried about sanctions and their intensification, damn intensifications.” Such statements are not unprecedented. In the past, there have been other authorities who had said sanctions are a blessing for both the Islamic system and the people.

Dr Mehdi Motaharnia, a Tehran-based expert of political affairs, told Persia Digest (PD): “Such statements made by some of the authorities about sanctions or even natural disasters are as a result of a religious phrase that they believe in and are trying to define everything based on their own beliefs.”

Motaharnia, also a university professor, added: “A number of Iranian authorities even believe they are like mosses (PBUH) and his stick, Jesus (PBUH) and his healing breath, and Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH) and his divine book. This is what they believe in and it can’t be confronted. Although this is a justified belief, it may not be reasonable and testing its veracity takes time.”

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He added: “Other reasons behind making such statements are the “greenhouse lifestyle” of most Iranian authorities. They don’t live in the midst and are not familiar with society. Even if they are present among people, it’s a formal presence and is made possible following many overt and covert formalities. On the other hand, they don’t have up-to-date information due to self-censorship dominating people’s relations with officials in recent decades. In a greenhouse lifestyle like this, instead of using wisdom, the authorities jut manage to compare the present situation with the past and believe that they are possibly vessels to reproduce the power of past religious elders. Consequently, following their adherence to this religious beliefs and isolated lifestyles, they try to give an abstract interpretation of  current realities.”

According to Motaharnia, another reason behind making such statements is their interests linked to the present situation. “Almost five million people, who constitute 1,400 to 1,500 employer families in the economic sector, are benefiting from the present stagflation. These people have covert and overt bases in the political sector. Political struggles during election campaigns are all related to achieving certain positions which will later guarantee their economic interests,” Motaharnia added.

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Asked if making such statements could be regarded as a lack of proper planning to confront sanctions, he said: “The viewpoint that presents sanctions are a blessing is based on a traditional wisdom derived from theology. In this theology, every crisis which happens to Iran is a good omen and blessing while the same crisis in other countries is interpreted as a divine punishment. Those who believe in such way of thinking do not know that the same traditional wisdom believes in planning to run a country. Therefore, since those people are not able to have a clear planning or make a paradigm, doctrine, major policy, strategy, tactic or technique, they refer to an ideal future which, in their words, is to be made by other people and in other times.”

Motahharnia added: “Based on epistemology, the phrase “sanctions are blessings” is just a way out and a religious justification for covering poor management.”

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