What Iran’s election lineup means for the international community

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

Iran, May 29, 2021—On Wednesday, the Guardian Council, the body that oversees legislations and elections, gave its final verdict on the people who have applied to run in the upcoming sham elections, scheduled for June 18. The Council disqualified many major regime officials, including Ali Larijani, a senior regime official who is a former Majlis (parliament) speaker, a former Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) commander and a close confidant of regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

The Guardian Council’s members are appointed by Khamenei and the judiciary chief, who himself is appointed by Khamenei. And its decisions directly reflect Khamenei’s will for the future of the regime. With the disqualification of Larijani, the only serious candidate who remains in the race is Ebrahim Raisi, the regime’s current judiciary chief and a notorious executioner of thousands of Iranian dissidents. Even the regime’s own officials are admitting that the new lineup has all but guaranteed that Raisi will become the next president of the regime.

Raisi has served in different positions in the judiciary since the beginning of the mullahs’ rule in 1979. The main highlight of his career is the “1988 massacre,” a weeks-long purge of Iran’s prisons in which more than 30,000 political prisoners were executed. Raisi was a member of the “death commission,” a trio of regime officials that summoned prisoners one by one and sealed their fate in minutes-long trials that ended in a trip to the gallows if the prisoner did not repent his or her opposition to the mullahs’ tyrannical rule. Raisi has time and again expressed his pride in the role he played in the 1988 massacre.

The reality is that presidential elections in Iran have nothing to do with the people’s desire to choose their leaders. They only serve to legitimize Khamenei’s dictatorship and their results reflect the balance of power between different regime factions, all of which are part and parcel to the crimes the mullahs have committed in the past four decades.

The 2021 presidential election, which senior regime officials have described as the most important elections in the regime’s history, reveal the truth about the current state of the regime.

While many have expressed shock about the Guardian Council’s decision to disqualify all serious candidates who associate themselves with the so-called “reformist” or “moderate” currents in the regime, the Iranian resistance had previously predicted that regime would eventually come to this point.

The truth is that the regime is in an extremely weak state, mainly due to the explosive state of an 80-million-strong society that no longer wants the rule of the mullahs. Since the last presidential elections, the regime has faced several rounds of major protests, including two nationwide uprisings in 2018 and 2019, in which the people called for regime change. The regime has only maintained to hold on to power through sheer repression. Under such circumstances, Khamenei cannot afford another election masquerade that ostensibly pits the so-called “moderates” against “hardliners.” Such events, which albeit a façade are in total contradiction with the tyrannical nature of the mullahs’ rule, weaken the regime and open the way for protests, something that Khamenei cannot afford at any price.

Therefore, it is evident that Khamenei is poised to bridge all gaps and unify his regime around a mass murderer who will obey his every order and suppress the population with an iron fist.

In the context of all the provocative actions the regime has been taking in the Middle East and across the world, the presidential lineup has a clear indication for the international community. As the Iranian Resistance has said time and again, moderation is a myth within the regime. The façade of moderation that the regime has put up in the past four decades has only been a ruse to deceive and divide the international community.

Politicians and states that have been rooting for the so-called moderates within the regime have only succeeded in legitimizing the regime’s crimes against the Iranian people and across the globe. Now, with all vestiges of “moderation” gone from the elections, it is time for world powers to accept the regime for what it is: a weak dictatorship that has only managed to remain in power through bloodshed and corruption.

As Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) emphasized in a statement following the Guardian Council’s decision, “there is no longer any excuse to appease and engage with this regime. Any interaction and cooperation with the mullahs will be in service of the regime’s repression and killing of the Iranian people and its obtaining of nuclear weapons and inciting warmongering in the region.”

The time has come for the West to end its appeasement and adopt a firm approach. Such an approach would recognize the regime’s sham election as illegitimate and unfair. It would also stop the policy of giving the regime a free pass for its past and current crimes and hold its leaders to account for their crimes. And finally, it would side with the people of Iran in their call for regime change and the establishment of freedom and democracy in their country.

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