Iran

Photos of Lavish Wedding Spark Criticism of Iran’s Privileged Ruling Class

At a time when the rial is being devalued regularly making it difficult for regular Iranians to make ends meet, the emergence of pictures from the lavish 2017 wedding of a diplomat’s son to a fashion model has sparked resentment of Iran’s ruling class, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported Thursday.

Pictures from the wedding of Amir Mohsen Moradian, the son of Iran’s ambassador to Denmark, and fashion model and designer, Anashid Hosseini has prompted criticism of the privileged lifestyles led by politically well-connected Iranians.

The Iranian rial, which was already weak, has been in sharp decline since American President Donald Trump announced in May that he would withdraw from the nuclear deal and impose harsh sanctions on Iran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani won his second term in 2017 promising to create jobs and fix the economy. However, a failing economy this year has prompted widespread protests against the regime in major cities including Tehran, Isfahan and Karaj.

When the pictures of the Moradian-Hosseini wedding emerged, with regime officials in attendance, it prompted widespread criticism.

A website called Fararu pointed out that the lavish wedding was being held when an estimated 12 million eligible Iranian singles cannot marry because they don’t have the resources for a wedding.

Some critics, according to RFE/RL, said that the wedding “highlighted growing inequality and injustice in Iran.” Others suggested that the regime is losing its revolutionary focus.

It also popularized the term “aghazadehs,” a term referring to privileged Iranians who profit from political connections and family ties.

Hosseini denied that she was “aghazadeh,” telling her Instagram followers,”This is all heated and empty talk about the aghazadeh. But I don’t think we’re aghazadeh. Aghazadeh is not someone who has a car that is barely worth 30 or 40 million tomans [$7,000-$9,000] and a 90-square-meter, rented apartment.”

However, she also told an interviewer that she likes to do her shopping outside of Iran because “we really don’t have anything in Iran, we don’t have brands.”

The controversy stirred by the wedding came after Mohammad Sasha Sobhani, son of a former ambassador to Venezuela, boasted of his financial success in an April interview, saying, “I found good friends [in Venezuela]. The son of [late Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez is my close friend. It’s all been due to my own cleverness; it has nothing to do with the fact that my father was an ambassador.” He dismissed critics of his wealth and lifestyle as “uncultured Iranians.”

[Photo: mixtv1farsi / YouTube ]