The Iranian people respond to Khamenei’s sham elections

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

Iran, June 12, 2021—As the date for Iran’s sham presidential election nears, the situation continues to get worse for the regime. Fearing losing control over the situation, regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei has done all within his power to make Ebrahim Raisi, his preferred candidate, his regime’s next president.

But even though the president is a formal position that effectively has little power or decision-making authority in Iran, Raisi’s lack of qualification and his bloody past is giving Khamenei extra headaches even before the election is held.

In their jockeying to increase their leverage in the election, other so-called candidates have criticized Raisi as not being qualified and educated enough to run the country. Raisi has even had a hard time getting support from the mullahs in Qom, the regime’s religious capital. Inner-conflicts are tearing the regime apart.

Popular disdain

But the regime’s bigger problem is the people, who are using every opportunity and stage to denounce Khamenei and Raisi, who is notoriously renowned for his role in the execution of political dissidents. Anywhere the regime puts up publicity posters of Raisi, the people are ripping or burning them. The issue has become so problematic that Raisi had to order a halt to the installation of posters.

On the other hand, the regime has set up gatherings in different towns and cities where members of the Basij, the regime’s repressive paramilitary force, give speeches in support of the election process. But on numerous occasions, the brave youth of Iran have entered these gatherings and taken the microphone to denounce the election, Khamenei, and Raisi, and call for the boycott of the election.

In one case, Raisi held a very controlled meeting in Takhti Stadium in Ahvaz, Khuzestan, in which the crowd was handpicked to serve the regime’s goals. But during this speech, the crowd started shouting “We don’t have water! We don’t have water!” reflecting the endemic problems of the people of this impoverished region, which have their roots in the repressive policies and corruption of the regime.

The desire for regime change

But the regime’s problems are much deeper than Raisi’s reputation. The people utterly hate Raisi, but that doesn’t mean they have a preference for any of the other candidates. As far as the people are concerned, anyone who is qualified to run for presidency in Iran is complicit in the regime’s human rights violations, terrorism, and corruption. As one angry man shouted on stage at one of the regime’s so-called open mic sessions, “Why would I vote for a thief among thieves to become president?”

The people of Iran are settling for nothing less than regime change, and they don’t care who will be running for president.

In recent weeks, against all odds and threats, families of protesters and dissidents who have been killed by the regime’s security forces and torturers in the past years have taken to social media to post videos calling for the boycott of the elections.

The utter hatred toward the regime and the growing movement for the boycott of the elections has caused much concern for Iranian officials. During this week’s Friday prayers, Ahmad Alamalhoda, the Friday prayer leader of Mashhad warned, “If the people don’t participate in the elections, it will be a referendum against the establishment and will mean that the people have turned their back on the establishment… and this establishment have run its course.”

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