Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, May 25, 2021—On Tuesday, the Iranian regime’s interior ministry declared the names of officials approved by the Guardian Council to run for the presidency in the upcoming sham election. The qualified candidates include former chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, current judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi, former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezaee, former member of parliament Alireza Zakani, MP Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, former Isfahan province governor Mohsen Mehralizadeh, and Central Bank governor Abdolnasser Hemmati.
Every four years, the regime holds its presidential election masquerade to put up a façade of democracy to serve as a cover its violent repression of all forms of opposition. The regime usually tries to bring prominent figures from all regime currents to create the impression of a real presidential race.
But this time, the regime has not even allowed itself the maneuver space to qualify regime figures who associate themselves with the so-called “reformist” current.
By removing Jahangiri and Larijani for the race, regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei has almost made it inevitable that Raisi, notoriously renowned for his role in the execution of thousands of opposition members, becomes the next president of the mullahs’ regime.
While it is worth noting that every single person who finds his way into the presidential race is thoroughly vetted for his devotion to the brutal rule of the mullahs, the fact that the regime can’t even tolerate competition between its own criminal officials speaks volumes about its fragile and weak state.
Since the last presidential election in 2017, Iran has seen several rounds of nationwide protests, including the November 2019 uprisings, the most widespread wave of anti-regime protests since the 1979 revolution. The regime has only managed to maintain its hold on power through brutal repression of any form of protest. But all regime officials and media are warning of the explosive state of a society that is enraged by more than four decades of repression and corruption at the highest levels of powers.
In such circumstances, the regime is afraid of anything that might stir the ashes and trigger another round of protests. In 2009, a contested presidential election caused a nationwide uprising that shook the foundations of the regime. Another such event will cause the regime’s downfall, many experts and regime officials warn.
Raisi, who now stands in the strongest position to take away the presidency, was a key figure in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners. At the time, under a fatwa by then-supreme leader Ruhollah Khomeini, the regime carried out a mass purge of prisons in a matter of a few weeks, executing more than 30,000 political prisoners. Raisi was part of the “death commission,” a trio of judges that tried prisoners in minutes-long trials and sent them to the gallows if they did not repent their opposition to the regime. Many of the executed prisoners had finished their sentence and others had been sentenced to prison terms.
In a statement, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said that Khamenei took steps to consolidate the regime and maximize repression by purging presidential candidates who had participated in all of the regime's crimes over the past 40 years. “This is a clear sign of the regime’s crisis of overthrow and the final phase of the religious, terrorist dictatorship,” Mrs. Rajavi said.
“Disqualifying individuals such as IRGC Brig. Gen. Ali Larijani, the architect of censorship and repression, the speaker of the regime’s parliament for 12 years, and always a part of Khamenei’s inner circle, will render the regime's power base narrower and more fragile, unprecedently aggravate the regime’s infighting, and in turn, accelerate the process of implosion and overthrow of the regime,” Mrs. Rajavi said.
Positioning Raisi to take the mantle of presidency indicates the regime is preparing for continued escalation of protests in the months and years to come.
But the bigger problem the regime faces is an all-out boycott of the election. The people of Iran are already expressing their choice to not vote in the upcoming election. Now that the regime has shown its true colors, it is time for the international community to recognize the regime for what it is, a gang of mass murderers and terrorist that are waging war against the world and their own people.