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Rouhani’s pleas, threats, and warnings

Iranian regime's president Hassan Rouhani in the conference of governors
Iranian regime's president Hassan Rouhani in the conference of governors

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

Iran, January 29, 2020— The Iranian regime has almost 23 days to go until its so-called Parliament (Majlis) election. Both factions of the regime —the factions of the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei and the regime’s president Hassan Rouhani— are trying to push their opponents back. 

The regime’s Guardian Council, which supervises elections and vets candidates, is from Khamenei’s faction and has already disqualified many candidates from the opposing faction. The Council disqualified over 90 members of the regime’s current parliament, and they cannot run as candidates in the next election. Rouhani, in return, has control over the Interior Ministry that will control ballot boxes and will gather votes. 

These are the regime’s levers for manipulating the elections against the Iranian people. Iran’s first parliamentary election took place in March 1980 after the 1979 revolution. Many opposition groups, including the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), took part in the election. Resorting to the abovementioned levers, the regime did not let any PMOI/MEK members enter the parliament. However, the regime stole many ballot boxes and changed their result as well.

Now, the regime’s levers for seizing power have turned into a noose around the regime’s neck. While there is no opposition within the regime to pursue the Iranian people’s cause, the regime’s factions use these levers against each other. The fight at the top of the regime’s hierarchy undermines the regime’s power and unity, giving the Iranian people more chance to rise against the dictatorship. 

The regime’s president Hassan Rouhani delivered a speech in the conference of governors gathered from across the country. His speech consisted of pleas, threats, and warnings.

Hassan Rouhani begged the Iranian regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei not to disqualify his faction’s candidates. Rouhani resorted to the regime’s constitution saying, “Nobody is above the law!” 

Rouhani ridiculously said, “Lest the election becomes a formality and turns into a selection rather than election.”

While the regime fears low participation in the election, especially after recent uprisings, Rouhani asked the regime’s desperate elements to participate in the future election and “do not fall out with the ballot box.”

Rouhani also reminded Ali Khamenei that he still controls the Interior Ministry and governorates that can affect the process through election fraud. He also downplayed the role of the Guardian Council and downgraded it to the status of an ‘observer.’

“There is one executive responsible apparatus in the election… and there is a group up there that monitors,” said Rouhani.

Speaking before the governors, Rouhani indirectly sent a message to Khamenei’s faction that governors will not let the rival faction change the result of the election in their favor unless the supreme leader gives Rouhani’s faction a proper share in the next parliament. “We must be aware. Many elections face problems in the vote-count process…”

A rift in the regime and eruption of further uprisings

The mullahs’ nightmare always aligns them together. Rouhani once again demonstrated the regime’s fear of the Iranian people and their protests. He warned the rival faction about further rifts in the rule of the mullahs. He said that deepening the rift in the regime’s ruling system would open the way for the people to trigger another uprising like what happened in the November 2019 uprising. He described the December 2017 uprising as “bitter days of history” of the regime.

“Incidents of December 2017 emboldened Trump to stand against us and encouraged our enemies,” he added. “We must not forget that we should be friends in need. Let’s be united on the election day,” he indirectly addressed Ali Khamenei. 

The closer the election, the more fighting erupts between the regime’s factions, and the crisis within the regime becomes more entrenched. This is while the regime is “under the harshest economic and political pressures,” in Rouhani’s own words. 

The regime will face further and deeper crises during the election process. These crises will weaken the regime more than ever.

Ironically, both Rouhani’s faction and Khamenei’s faction call on each other to be united, but both expect the other side to give up their agenda. 

In fact, Rouhani cannot stop Khamenei from disqualifying his candidates, and Khamenei cannot bring about a single-faction parliament under his complete control. The real winner of the regime’s election crisis is the Iranian people who will face a weaker regime in their next uprising and protests.