MEK Iran: Khamenei Begs for Votes
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that the Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei said in his Eid Mab’as speech that the regime wouldn’t “clamp down on dissidents” but advised them against being hostile either.
The embarrassment of a national boycott
This is a strange thing to hear him say after he spent 30 years brutally cracking down on dissidents across the country and abroad, as well as causing the lives of most Iranians to be so miserable. So why would he say it now?
Simply, the Presidential elections are just weeks away and he hopes to encourage more people to participate, so that the regime will avoid the embarrassment of a national boycott, like the one that targeted the parliamentary elections last year.
Khamenei’s choice would be announced as President anyway
In fact, he made a similar plea for dissidents to come to the polling stations in 2018, following the nationwide uprising. He can encourage this because it won’t change the outcome. Even if all dissidents turned up and wrote the name of Resistance leader Maryam Rajavi on their voting slips, Khamenei’s choice would still be announced as President.
And there will be no great change to the way that dissidents are treated. Their views will still be censored, them arrested and beaten, and their lives endangered.
In fact, let’s look at some of the ways that dissidents and marginalized groups are treated in Iran:
- compulsory hijab against Iranian women
- regime gangs to kill dissidents including the People’s Mojahedin (MEK Iran / PMOI)
- executions of thousands of dissidents in the 1980s, including the 1988 massacre of political prisoners
- serial murders of dissidents, intellectuals, writers, poets, and artists in the 1990s, even outside Iran
- murder and mutilation of Christians
- restriction of educations for Baha’is
- restriction of political office to those who swear allegiance to the rule of the Supreme Leader
Mostafa Aslani wrote on Iran News Update: “In all these examples, it can be seen that the concept of ‘dissent’ from the perspective of the Islamic Republic – now called ‘outsider’ in government propaganda and media – is nothing more than a belief in thought or way or goal outside the clerical government.
Therefore, both [regime founder Ruhollah] Khomeini and Khamenei have never tolerated their alternative beliefs, whether by individuals or groups and with the first expression of opinion against the Islamic Republic, they sent the Revolutionary Guards and instinctual criminals to destroy the lives and property of these dissidents.”
Khamenei can beg for a high election turn out all he wants but Iran hasn’t seen that since the 1980s and won’t again until the regime is replaced by the Resistance.