Iranian officials are admitting that the presidential elections on Friday are basically a sham, rather than a true expression of the people’s democratic will.
Former intelligence minister Heidar Moslehi said Monday that the Guardian Council, which is responsible for approving candidates, disqualified high-ranking official Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in 2013 because it wasn’t “beneficiary to the system’s interests” which just shows that Iranian elections aren’t fair, but rather rigged in favour of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s preferred candidate.
While Khamenei affiliate Hassan Abbasi admitted in May that there is an irony in holding an election under the mullahs, although he insinuated that the problem began in 1997 under President Mohammad Khatami, insinuating that this is because the mullahs “accepted the western democracy’s model”. (It wasn’t.)
This wasn’t an isolated incident because the Guardian Council disqualified a number of well-known candidates from this year’s election because Khamenei wants to consolidate power and wants to ensure that Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi becomes president. In fact, the mullahs have never held a fair election since it took power in 1979.
Mahmoud Sadeghi, former member of the parliament, referring to the fact that the report on Rafsanjani’s disqualification was prepared by calculating its cost and benefit for the system, reminded of Rafsanjani’s suspicious death in Farah pool and and warned Heidar Moslehi and said: “We will probably see a ‘cost-benefit’ report on his life and death in the near future.” (State-run daily Jahan-e-Sanat, June 15, 2021)
Regarding the revelation of how Rafsanjani was disqualified from the Guardian Council , which is now called Moslehi-Gate, the state-run Arman newspaper wrote: “The scandal of the Moslehi-Gate will have a profound effect on society and show how some expediencies overshadow the fundamental rights of the nation and weaken the foundations of the republic.” (Arman newspaper, June 15, 2021)
Election in Iran is a travesty and a selection process by Khamenei, who is unelected. Khamenei controls the Guardian Council, an unselected vetting body that is tasked with qualifying candidates.
This is why the Iranian Resistance has long stipulated that there is no point in voting, so they want the public to boycott the elections. The Resistance Units carried out activities in 310 areas during May and 250 places in April, which have been widely supported by the Iranian people.
This isn’t surprising because the people are understandably angry at the officials for numerous crimes, including the violent suppression of protesters in 2018 and 2019, which included the arbitrary killings of over 1,500 protesters. The relatives of those martyrs made a video supporting the boycott and saying that they “neither forgive nor forget” what the authorities did then or for the previous four decades.
The state-run Hamdeli daily wrote Monday: “The scar and wound of the November 2019 incident are fresh. The exact details of the bloody days of November 2019 have not been published yet, and at the same time, no one in the different branches is willing to take responsibility for the decisions made those days. The death toll in November 2020 is still in limbo.”
As Khamenei tries to consolidate power with Raisi, the people are refusing to sweep the mullahs’ crimes under the rug and their restiveness will only increase.