A former Iranian minister said the Iran’s Islamic regime is teetering on the brink of collapse within the next two years.

Former Iranian Justice Minister Mehdi Haeri Khorshidi said the regime has been growing increasingly unpopular, threatening the regime’s stability. Mr. Khorshidi, a Shiite cleric and former adviser to Iran’s prime minister who spent five years in prison for criticizing his government, made his remarks during a conference at Haifa University last week.

“Iran has powers that can stun and even defeat the government,” Mr Khorshidi said. “There are other elements that wish to separate state and religion. They see that as long as Islamic rule forcibly clings to the government, religion is connected with all that is bad, which harms [the religion].”

These elements in Iranian society include religious people, university professors, judges and Parliament members who have grown restless amid Iran’s economic decline. Iran’s government faces problems from its overwhelming youth population, and so far, its military and security forces have been successful putting down unrest amid the country’s reported 50-percent annual inflation rate.

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“We need no foreign element to replace the regime for us,” Mr. Khorshidi said. “We can and must do it alone.

“Due to the impossible financial state of affairs in Iran, along with the youths’ desires, the only thing that preserves the regime is the military. But how long can this situation continue?”

He said these Iranians want to end the corruption in the current government and establish a secular regime friendly to others in the Middle East, including Israel.

“Fifty percent of the university openings are reserved for people associated with the government, and in order to be accepted in the remaining places, the candidates must undergo tests that are of political character and not at all related to the study material,” he said.

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.