Iran’s Sham Presidential Elections
With reports forecasting a poor turnout in the Iranian election in June 2021, Ali Khamenei, the Iranian Supreme Leader, aims to consolidate power by dismissing all candidates from the ‘reformist’ faction.
Khamenei has already chosen his favorite president
Khamenei has already chosen his favorite president, which is Ebrahim Raisi, the Chief of the Judiciary. Raisi, on the other hand, has no academic or theological credentials. He is renowned as the Henchman of the 1988 massacre, in which 30,000 political prisoners were killed.
Despite serving on the Supreme National Security Council, as Parliament Speaker for 12 years, as a member of the IRGC, and as the head of state-run television and radio, the Guardian Council dismissed Ali Larijani as a primary candidate.
He is not considered as the loyal candidate Khamenei prefers, and his choice of Raisi as president is clear.
Officials and state media have issued a warning
“Officials and state media have issued a warning. Every day, they issue warnings to the public about the growing appeal of Mujahedin-e Khalq followers and resistance units, particularly among the youth.
On 26 May, Mohammad Mohaddessin, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said, “They are openly speaking about their impact on the hearts and minds of the Iranian public.”
The elimination of Larijani’s candidacy
“What happened yesterday [the elimination of Larijani’s candidacy] should teach world powers a valuable lesson. They continue to place their faith in fictitious moderates or reformers who advocate for a medieval theocracy. A viper, on the other hand, never gives birth to a dove.”
Elections in Iran are not about expressing the will of the people in a democratic and transparent manner for the previous 40 years.
Instead, the Supreme Leader, who is not elected, has used them as a selection procedure. Even the Guardian Council’s vetting, which approves the nominees, is handpicked by Khamenei.
The regime needs to preserve an internal balance
The regime needs to preserve an internal balance of power among the factions to determine the outcome of the election. Each side has its own demands, and Khamenei must continue to negotiate amongst them. It is important to note that the Iranian people are not a top priority.
Every internal effort he makes to keep power has the exact opposite consequence. With all of the domestic problems that the Iranian people are facing, Khamenei’s preoccupation with power consolidation will make the country more vulnerable to the next popular movement.
The growing number of resistance units
Internal efforts to crush any resistance to the dictatorship have been met with a growing number of resistance units. All oppressive efforts, including executions, arrests, and social media restrictions, have failed to stop the rise of frustrated Iranians.
While Khamenei is attempting to downplay the election’s expected low turnout, a widespread boycott of the poll is gaining traction.
International community to stop appeasing Iran’s regime.
The NCRI and its leadership think that it is past time for the international community to stop appeasing Iran’s regime.
“There is no longer any justification for appeasing and engaging with this regime,” said Maryam Rajavi, the NCRI’s President-elect.
“Any interaction or cooperation with the mullahs will aid in the repression and assassination of Iranians. It will aid the regime’s acquisition of nuclear weapons and the escalation of regional conflicts,” Mohaddessin warned.