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Iran’s Science Is Collapsing

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Now for over 40 years, Iran’s rule controlled by the mullahs is destroying and toying with all of the country’s assets and values of the people, from the culture to the science and economy and most important human dignity and freedom.

In this article what we will point to is a recent report of the famous science journal, ‘Nature’, about the fake-paper factories of science articles which are in some countries ‘industrialized’.

It is notable that a credible journal like the ‘Nature’ would never jeopardizes its credibility to publish a biased report. Nature Magazine is credited with its history, and it is a great danger for Nature to publish a biased report. So, the expression ‘Industrialized cheating’ is not only indulgence about Iran government’s behavior but is less than the reality talked about the destruction of this rule.

Naturally one of the main subjects that is showing the dynamism and vitality of any university and science institutions is the writing of scientific essays. With the goal of being published internationally by credible science organizations and outlets to increase the university’s trustworthy.

But because of the fundamental thought of Iran’s officials who sees everything as an tool to gain more profit and wealth for themselves, they are engineering the countries universities’ structures to achieve profitable functions such as ‘essay production’, without thinking about its long lasting destruction of the country’s universities.

It is as if the identity of a university is nothing but an institutional structure whose components can be transformed with the intention of achieving new functions such as further article production, entrepreneurship, and solving social problems (easily and reverse engineered).

“Industrialized cheating

The problem of organized fraud in publishing is not new, and not confined to China, notes Catriona Fennell, who heads publishing services at the world’s largest scientific publisher, Elsevier. “We’ve seen evidence of industrialized cheating from several other countries, including Iran and Russia,” she told Nature last year. Others have also reported on Iranian and Russian paper-mill activities.” (Nature, March 23, 2021)

The problem with the mullahs’ rule is that they predict the universities independence of the country’s history, so it is very easy for them to play with such an important institution which is the main source for the construction of the country’s future.

The truth is that no country can only rely on natural resources as an eternal source for the wealth of a country and to establish a strong nation having a bright and long-lasting future. And what here comes into question are the country’s universities and its brains.

So, because of the view of the regime’s officials, without thinking about the norms and internal mechanisms and the worth of the universities, they pressurize the universities to change their structure in a way that results to a worthless ‘harvest’ for the officials. And the rise of academic fraud in universities stems from this.

Widespread scientific violations, officials abusing their position, abusing students, the prevalence of ghostwriters and the existence of essay and dissertation production centers on Enghelab Street, are all obvious facts of the scientific destruction in Iran.

And the truth is that Iran is being pushed out of real competition in scientific productions. So, just to create something artificial that perform better than its natural example is implausible. A humanoid robot that lacks a human-like nervous system which overtake the best runners in athletics, a chess computer that can beat the best human chess players are these days without any scientific value and no one allows robots to compete in athletics. No computer chess players take part in human chess competitions.

So, the truth is that Iran in the 21 century is out of the ‘real scientific competitions’, losing its future.

Iran Loses Voting Right at UN

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On Wednesday, July 2, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres criticized the Iranian government for refusing to pay its arrears. In this context, the Islamic Republic joined Venezuela, Yemen, and Lebanon who had lost voting rights in 2020.

“Iran and the Central African Republic are in arrears on paying their dues to the United Nations’ operating budget and will lose their voting rights in the 193-member General Assembly,” Guterres said. “The minimum payments needed to restore voting rights are $16,251,298 for Iran.”

In response to Guterres’s letter, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif claimed, “UN deprived Iran of its voting rights,” shedding crocodile tears for his government, “U.S. economic terrorism prevents Iran paying for FOOD, let alone UN dues.”

However, he intentionally neglected how much Iran spends on irresponsible policies and aggressive projects like equipping and supplying extremist proxies, supporting the Syrian regime, making nuclear weapons, and advancing ballistic missiles’ range.

“When I went to Syria, some complained that I had caused expenses. But I will say this again, “We may have given $20-30 billion to Syria,” said former chair of the Parliament (Majlis) National Security and Foreign Affairs Committee Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh in early May 2020.

Furthermore, in December 2020, Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar praised Qassem Soleimani, the former chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force (IRGC) killed in a U.S. drone attack in January 2020, for supporting Hamas.

“During my meeting with Iranian officials in 2006, I raised some requests as the Palestinian Foreign Minister. [Then-President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad referred me to Soleimani. I told Soleimani that we have a problem with paying our employees’ paychecks,” he said.

“A decision was quickly made because I had to leave the next day. I saw $22 million in cash in several suitcases. We had agreed on more but since we were a nine-men delegation, we could not carry more,” al-Zahar explained.

In a speech broadcasted in January 2016, Lebanese Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, confirmed all Hezbollah’s financial and weaponry supports come from Iran. “All of Hezbollah’s budget, wages, food, drinks, weapons, and rockets are supplied by the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said according to al-Arabiya.

Meanwhile, in October 2020, Iran Focus revealed that state-owned companies have devoured 70 percent of Iran’s total budget, and while they can compensate for the country’s entire budget deficits, the fate of their profits are bleak. The website mentioned this amount of money are absorbed by corrupt government institutes and officials.

In reality, the government’s primary problem is not with a lack of money, but the country suffers from a corrupt system. “The corruption looks like a seven-headed dragon,” the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei described the corruption in February 2018. “Every time you cut one head off, you’re still left with another six.”

In October 2013, Regarding Iran’s systematic corruption and flawed financial system, first IRGC commander-in-chief Javad Mansouri said, “Even if it rains gold, … nothing will be solved.” Therefore, Iran’s complicated economic dilemmas will be resolved neither in Vienna nor in Washington DC.

As long as the ayatollahs continue their untransparent rule, they squander national assets on oppressive and aggressive policies. The Islamic Republic’s 42-year history has proven this truth, and the current system would resolve the country’s dilemmas once a leopard changed its spots.

Iran: Diplomats or IRGC Quds Force Officers

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Following the leak of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s audiotape in April, no one doubts about the role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Tehran’s foreign policy. “In the Islamic Republic, the military field rules,” Zarif said. “The [military] field’s success was more important than diplomacy’s success… I have sacrificed diplomacy for the field rather than the field serving diplomacy.”

In this respect, Zarif particularly pointed to the role of former IRGC Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani. He also grumbled over Soleimani sabotaging the nuclear negotiations with the West. “Soleimani had worked to subvert the nuclear deal, by colluding with Russia and by ramping up Iran’s intervention in Syria’s civil war,” Zarif added.

Already in late March 2008, Soleimani had sent a message to then-commander of U.S. forces in Iraq General David Petraeus through then-Iraqi President Jalal Talabani emphasizing the IRGC-QF’s role in the Middle East. “General Petraeus, you should know that I, Qasem Soleimani, control the policy of Iran for Iraq, and also for Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and Afghanistan,” Soleimani’s message read.

Why Iran Has a Greedy Eye on Iraq?

Since the beginning of the Islamic Republic in 1979, regime founder and first Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini had a greedy eye on the western neighboring country Iraq. Given the geopolitical position of this country, particularly a 69-percent Shiite population, Khomeini chose Iraq as a launchpad for his regional ambitions.

However, he was pursuing a scheduled plan aimed at conquering Mideast countries with a Shiite-population density like Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. Khomeini actually dreamed to form an Islamic State—more than three decades before Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi and his comrades had thought about such a state—in the countries that form a crescent.

In this respect, he and his top officials mentioned this regional “Shiite Crescent” in their remarks. Later, they called it as the state’s “Strategic Depth.”

At the time, the Islamic Republic founder started his meddling in the then-Iraqi government’s affairs. He frankly called on the people of Iraq to revolt against their rulers, and he secretly ordered the IRGC to begin border conflicts.

Indeed, Khomeini had taken power in Iran as a spiritual leader. He had no political or social method to resolve society’s complicated dilemmas. He tried to monopolize the power and remove all domestic dissidents. However, he could not practice his idea completely due to society’s volatile condition.

Therefore, he resorted to a longstanding trick that has been applied by dictators throughout history. “Victory will be achieved through terrifying the masses” was Khomeini’s rationale to strengthen his sovereignty.

Thus, he ignited a full-scale war with Iraq to attribute all the country’s unresolved difficulties to the war. On the one hand, Khomeini sent hundreds of thousands of youths to the battlefields and left millions of grieving parents, sisters, brothers, widows, and orphans. And he quelled any domestic objection and complaints under the excuse of the war.

“War is a divine blessing,” Khomeini said several times, insisting, “We will continue the war even if it takes 20 years and until the last brick in Tehran.” He practically spread an atmosphere of fear in Iran’s society to achieve “victory.” He also equipped the IRGC with advanced weaponry systems under the banner of “Holy Defense.” He also prolonged the war to eight years keeping the people under the sense of fear and terror.

Iranian Diplomats in Iraq

Following the occupation of Iraq and the establishment of ‘Coalition Provisional Authority,’ Tehran appointed IRGC-QF brigadier generals, including Hassan Kazemi-Qomi, Hassan Danaeifar, and Iraj Masjedi as its ambassadors to this country.

The first ‘ambassador’ Kazemi-Qomi had served as Iran’s counselor in Harat, Afghanistan, before the Iraqi government fell in 2003. At the time, he was organizing terror squads under the banner of a diplomat. He had a firsthand experience of work with the U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The Iranian government replaced Kazemi-Qomi with Danaeifar in 2010. Danaeifar especially focused on orchestrating terror attacks on the Iranian dissidents Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI). Around 140 dissidents were killed during his tenure, and eventually, when the MEK departed Iraq in September 2016, he was replaced with Masjedi, then-IRGC-QF deputy commander. Masjedi is still Tehran’s ‘ambassador’ in Iraq.

Furthermore, Assadollah Assadi, who was recently convicted to 20 years in prison by a Belgian court for a foiled bomb plot against the Iranian opposition rally in Paris, is another IRGC-QF high-ranking agent.

“The 49-year-old [Assadi] was a diplomat in Iraq from 2003 to 2008, before being appointed third secretary at the Iranian embassy in Vienna in 2014,” wrote Le Monde on October 10, 2020.

In his minutes, taken by the Belgian police, Assadi had plainly threatened Belgian authorities with terror attacks by IRGC-QF-controlled proxies in the Middle East. “Armed groups in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and Syria, as well as in Iran, were interested in the outcome of his case and would be ‘watching from the sidelines to see if Belgium would support them or not,’” reported Reuters on October 9, 2020.

Iranian Diplomats in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen

Just like Iraq, Iranian authorities deployed IRGC commanders and IRGC-QF officers to Lebanon as ambassadors and diplomats since the 1980s. Qazanfar Roknabadi was one these ‘diplomats.’

To sabotage the Hajj ceremony and ignite ethnic conflicts in Saudi Arabia, he entered the country with a forged identity and passport. However, he died during the 2015 Mina stampede, and Tehran’s plot was exposed and foiled.

Seyyed Ahmad Mousavi and Mohammad Reza Raouf Sheibani were Iran’s ambassadors in Lebanon who were coincidently Tehran’s ambassadors in Syria. However, this was not the whole story.

Following the 1979 revolution, Khomeini then Khamenei initially dispatched Ali Akbar Mohtashamipur then Mohammad-Ali Taskhiri as the Supreme Leader’s representative in Tehran’s embassy in Damascus. Aside from their representatives, other ambassadors and diplomats were IRGC-QF officers.

Likewise, Iran’s diplomats and ambassadors in Yemen were all IRGC-QF offices since the 2000s. The latest ambassador is IRGC-QF Brigadier General Hassan Irlu.

Furthermore, since November 2007, the name of the first IRGC-QF commander-in-chief Ahmad Vahidi was added to the Interpol red notice list due to his role in the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina. According to Argentinian authorities, Vahidi had orchestrated the bomb plot through an IRGC-QF team.

Vienna JCPOA Talks Have Not Come to a Final Conclusion

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On the eve of the fifth round of Vienna talks between Iran and world powers over the former’s illicit nuclear projects, Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s representative in the Atomic Energy Agency, said in the talks that the fifth round would probably be the last round of negotiations. But evidence suggests that the fifth round of Vienna talks has not come to an appropriate conclusion.

Then in a tweet on June 1, 2021, he stated that, “Everything is so much complicated in relations between Iran and the #IAEA to our regret! Nevertheless, we appreciate the fact that they continue to maintain the necessary level of cooperation. We have reasons to believe that the current difficulties are of temporary character.”

Vienna talks over four rounds and the fifth round was in progress that news announced by Rafael Grossi, the Director General of the Atomic Energy Agency, made the maintenance of the talks more complicated as he said:

“Iran’s failure to provide credible explanations for traces of uranium found at two undeclared sites is “a big problem” that is affecting the country’s credibility.”

Then he added that a linear return to the old JCPOA, “It is not possible. Iran has accumulated knowledge, has accumulated centrifuges, and has accumulated material.”

Then he added: “They have developed new centrifuges. Research and development have taken place. It was not allowed by the original JCPOA. It has happened and now the issue is how to deal with the results. What you absolutely need is a way to verify that if they have that knowledge, it is not being used to make bombs.”

Separately, France, one of the signatories to the deal, voiced concern after a report from the U.N. nuclear watchdog which showed on Monday that Iran had failed to explain traces of uranium found at several undeclared sites.

Now following the release of the new International Atomic Energy Agency report on the origin of new uranium particles, the three European powers must now decide whether they want to resume pressure to pass a resolution against the Iranian regime, as it could overshadow and making the ongoing talks to revive the JCPOA more complicated.

Three months ago, three European countries, Britain, France, and Germany, suspended the plan that the United States had submitted to the Board of Governors to issue a resolution against the Iranian regime on the discovery of new nuclear particles.

According to the latest report by the IAEA, the Iranian regime has not been able to provide a convincing explanation of the origin of the new uranium particles on several of its unannounced sites.

Of course, these were not the only news which are complicating the situation. In the middle of the fifth-round talks, the Agency provided another negative information about Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran’s 20 percent uranium deposits increased to 62 kilograms, which is an increase of 44.4 kg comparing the amount in February. The Agency also announced on May 31, Iran’s enriched uranium reserves reached 16 times the authorized ceiling allowed by the JCPOA. This rate was agreed upon 202 kg, while now Iran has 3.41 kg enriched uranium.

All this news is worrying while the Agency previously on 23 February 2021 has also announced that they have no access to the regulatory data.

Surprisingly, with this level of ambition, Iran’s government expectation that all the sanctions will be lifted at once is just an illusion.

The Vienna negotiations indicate that the main issues behind the scenes remained not only unresolved, but the agency’s recent statement adds to the volume of the complications and stagnation.

And the proof for that is, that the representatives of the negotiating counties returned to their capitals on June 1, 2021, without any progress, despite all the regime’s claims about progress.

Laurence Norman, a Wall Street Journal reporter in Brussels, wrote in a Twitter message on June 1: “Understand the current plan is to organise a break from Iran talks tomorrow or Thursday for delegations to return to capitals. Could change but that’s the plan. The Big question: when to resume and whether to continue before Iran presidential elections is not yet settled.”

Iran’s Capital Drains Crisis

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If Iran continues to face a decrease in the accumulation of human capital and eventually economic and social losses, this crisis will enter a new phase. This means that the government cannot consider brain drain and the loss of capital as a minor issue, because many of Iran’s challenges today are due to a lack of capital.

First crisis:

According to statistics, Iran is one of the top countries in the world in terms of brain drain, and it is said that 180,000 Iranian specialists leave the country annually. The secretary of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, emphasizing that 54,000 Iranians study abroad, claimed that this was due to a “hostile conspiracy” adding, ‘The enemies of the Islamic Revolution are looking to hunt our elites.’

But the reality is that this issue is beyond the possibility of a ‘conspiracy theory’ and consider the ‘enemy’ as the cause of this challenge.

The chairman of the board of the Tehran Nursing System announced the monthly migration of 500 Iranian nurses abroad and said that most Iranian nurses migrate to North American countries such as Canada and Sweden in Europe, as well as some countries in the Persian Gulf. Iran is even ranked fifth in the United States in terms of foreign doctoral graduates.

A survey of statistics from the past decade (2010 to 2019) shows that, after China, India, South Korea, and Taiwan, immigrants from Iran make up the largest number of US foreign doctoral graduates, and one in 40 foreigners who received a doctorate was Iranian.

In other words, in the last decade, exactly 5,506 Iranians have received doctorates in the United States, and according to 2015 statistics, approximately 5,000 of these people have remained in the United States.

Out of a total of 54,000 Iranian students studying abroad, 25 percent of them have emmigrated with a three-digit entrance exam rank.

Second crisis:

It is not only the elites and students who are leaving the country. Children of some officials and rich people of the society, based on their wealth, do not consider Iran worthy to live in, while their fathers are making Iran a hell to live in.

Seyed Mohammad Gharazi, one of the presidential candidates who was excluded from competing in the upcoming election, about the officials’ children said recently: “Today, 5,000 children of government officials live in the United States and have taken people’s dollars and think they are living, but I am sure they are carrying the humiliation of this world and the hereafter with them and their fathers.”

Mahmoud Bahmani, the governor of the Central Bank during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had said: “At present, $148 billion is the balance of the accounts in foreign banks of the officials’ children, and this is more than Iran’s reserves.”

Abbas Akhoondi, former Minister of Roads and Urban Development also said: “In the last three years, about $15 billion has been spent on buying homes abroad, and with the wrong domestic policies, Iranians have bought 1,600 homes in Turkey in the last three months. According to the Turkish Statistics Center, Iranians are still the largest group of foreign home buyers in the country. The result of the aggressive actions is that in the last 50 years, 3.1 million people have left Iran, that is, 3.8 million of our population have emigrated.”

A recent report published by ILNA stated, ‘Iranian citizens have purchased 5,939 housing units in Turkey.’

Third crisis:

The collapse of money and national capital and the rise in prices have led to the fact that many Afghans prefer the insecurity of their own country than to stay in Iran.

According to statistics, the record for the largest number of undocumented Afghan migrants returning from Iran in 2020 has been broken. Some experts consider the fall in the value of the rial and the difficult labor market conditions as the most important reasons for their return. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that in 2020 alone, about 859,000 Afghan refugees returned from Iran. In recent days, news has been published about a 35 percent increase in the migration of Afghan citizens from Iran.

Conclusion:

The structures are such that the future president of Iran will be not able to bring the country to such a development that the losses will return. The reality is that the people of Iran are at the crossroad of ‘Staying or leaving’. Iran’s today situation is not like in the past and many Iranian families, and their relatives, are people who have emigrated and many of those who have left are longing to leave their homeland and are struggling with the difficult question of whether to leave or stay.

This is the result of 40 years of the mullahs’ rule, and rule of corruption, looting, discrimination, human rights violations, and executions.

What Were Human Rights Like in Iran Last Month?

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The May 2021 report by Iran Human Rights Monitor into the situation of human rights abuses in Iran is now out and, as always, it makes for disturbing and horrific reading, specifically relating to executions, suppression, and arrests. We’re going to look at the report here, but we recommend looking at the full thing.

Executions and Arbitrary murders

Some 21 people were executed in Iran during May, including 15 on drug charges and two on rape charges, which are not death penalty crimes under global law. Of course, it’s not surprising when you consider that Iran is the biggest executioner in the world in terms of its population.

One of these cases was of Behzad Adl, 25, who was executed in Shiraz’s Adelabad Prison for rape. But he’d only confessed under torture, was denied access to a lawyer, and retracted the confession in court. Another is Baluchi citizen Mehran Naroui who was tortured into confessing, according to Amnesty International, and executed despite a social media campaign to save his life.

There were 16 people killed and 15 injured by the Iranian police without arrest or trial, which is something that the security forces often do to border porters.

Arrests and Abuse of Prisoners

More than 540 people were arrested, with many of them detained for their religious or political activities.

Meanwhile, the following prisoners went on hunger strike to protest the denial of medical treatment for themselves or others. This includes journalist Reza Taleshian Jalodarzadeh, filmmaker Mohammad Nourizad, and political prisoner Saba Kord Afshari.

Discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities

There were many instances of discrimination against people who are from minority groups last month. Here are just a few instances:

  • Sentencing of nine Baha’i citizens to prison on bogus charges of “acting against national security” and one woman for trying to empower women
  • Sentencing of three Azerbaijani Turk activists to prison and one to a 5 million Tomans fine on trumped-up political charges
  • Arbitrary arrest of 26 young men and one elderly woman for political activism

Internet censorship

A prominent internet freedom activist cited leaked confidential letters that showed the deputy head of Tehran’s Justice Department ordering that Google Play, Instagram, and VPNs be filtered by May 22. These letters, which said that the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) would be dealing with companies that didn’t comply, perhaps by closing the company or by prosecuting the manager, were confirmed by Mehr News in Iran.

NCRI Women: Report on Women’s Protest in Iran in May

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The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has released a report into the increased levels of protest by Iranian women during May, with a particular focus on encouraging others to boycott the election.

They advised that women from all classes and employment sectors have been taking to the streets in most cities and villages over everything from power outages, water shortages, house demolitions, non-payment of wages, and a massive number of other issues. The problems that these women are facing have increased the protests and the number of people who want to boycott the presidential election.

Protests by Iranian women were at least 127 in May, with 29 by teachers who want to be officially employed with the benefits that come along with that, 42 by students who want to avoid in-person exams during the pandemic, and many more by hospital staff over salary non-payment.

Brave women have also been taking part in resistance units activities to encourage people to boycott the elections. They’ve been putting up posters, handing out flyers, and writing graffiti, all with slogans like “Election boycott is a patriotic duty” and “My vote is overthrowing the Regime”. They’ve even made videos that are published on social media, like the mothers of the November 2019 martyrs, who declared that “We want the overthrow of this regime. We vote for the regime’s overthrow”.

One woman said: “Those who vote in this election are just as guilty as the regime officials who ordered the killing of our children. We will never forgive. Anyone who casts a ballot and participates in this election commits a crime and treason.”

In addition, the mothers of the victims of the 1988 massacre gathered in Tehran’s Khavaran Cemetery on May 13 to condemn the authorities for destroying the mass graves containing the remains of the martyrs. During their protest, they held placards and chanted slogans against the regime, particularly Judiciary head and presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi.

Raisi was on the notorious Tehran Death Committee during the 1988 massacre and was responsible for sending thousands of political prisoners to their deaths, for which the United States has blacklisted him due to human rights violations.

The signs that they held up included:

  • “Khavaran, the enduring document of crime against humanity in Iran, the 1988 massacre”
  • “Until the prosecution of, and accountability for the criminals, we will neither forgive, nor forget.”

Iran’s Election Boycott Looks Certain

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Iranians at home and abroad came together on Sunday to take part in a social media campaign where they spread their anti-regime messages under the hashtag #BoycottIranShamElections, which got tens of thousands of shares in just the first day.

The Iranian opposition, has been calling on the people to boycott the elections for years, citing that nothing has ever changed under the rulling theocracy or will ever change.

Over the past year, the opposition’s internal network have been leading a rigorous and well-supported campaign advocating an all-out election boycott, by putting up posters of opposition leaders on highways and anti-regime graffiti on public walls in the city. There were at least 250 demonstrations in April alone.

It’s no wonder that so many people wish to boycott the elections because voting will not only make no difference to the Iranian people’s everyday lives, it won’t make a difference to the eventual winner either.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has already made it clear that he supports judiciary head Ebrahim Raisi for president, which means the rest of the establishment support him too. In fact, the Guardian Council disqualified over 500 candidates, including many high-profile ones like former Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, to pave the way for Raisi’s victory.

Mohammad  Mohaddessin, the chair of the National Councill of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) Foreign Affairs Committee, said Wednesday that this was Khamenei’s attempt to consolidate power as social unrest increases in the face of the various crises that Iran is facing.

This social unrest resulted in three nationwide protests over the past four years,  with the people calling for regime change each time. The anger of the people toward the regime even led to the widespread boycott of the parliamentary elections in February 2020, despite the authorities attempt to play down the pandemic to get people out to vote.

That boycott was driven in part by the major protests, but also because of the opposition’s campaigns, so it stands to reason that after the officials’ botched handling of the pandemic, more people will boycott the elections.

Mohaddessin said: “The nationwide call for the boycott of the sham election has gained momentum, and people are openly calling for the regime’s overthrow. [This indicates that there is a] looming nationwide uprising waiting in the wings [that is] far more intense and widespread than in previous years.”

Alongside this online conference, there are many facts that this time the regime’s presidential election will be faced with the people’s boycott.

According to a video published on the Internet, in a free tribune that was held in the second square of Naziabad, Tehran, one of the youths from behind the tribune said, ‘Everyone who votes has oppressed the 1,500 killed in November (2019).’ There is no difference between the candidates and ‘all of them are looters.’ (Internet June 2, 2021)

Mark Dubowitz, the CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) in his tweet on June 1 about the regime’s election said: “Reminder: Frontrunner for IRI president sanctioned by US Treasury for “executions of individuals who were juveniles at time of their crime; torture, other cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment punishment of prisoners in Iran, including amputations.”

Attacking the regime’s sham-election Struan Stevenson former MEP in a tweet quoted his article about this election: “My article on Iran’s so called elections. Iran’s mullahs choose executioner as front-runner for president.“

He pointed: “Raisi’s fast track to the presidency is the clearest sign yet that the supreme leader is panicking. Since 2018, there have been three nationwide uprisings, with daily protests continuing in towns and cities across Iran. The economy has collapsed. More than 75% of the population now struggle to survive on daily incomes below the international poverty line. Children rummage through trash cans for scraps of food.” (UPI, June 1, 2021)

The situation for the regime is becoming so critical this time one the regime’s officials Hassan Abassi regrets about the regime’s decision to holing elections and said: “We have a problem that started from Mr. Khatami’s term in 1997. Before that, in the fifth parliament we approved and accepted the model of Western democracy in the elections. We made a mistake.

“Now, the UAE, which does not have elections, are not its people more relaxed? Qatar does not have elections, Oman does not have elections, this Turkmenistan above us does not have elections, are they not more relaxed? We made a mistake in holding the elections, we should not have elections like in the UAE and Qatar so that the people’s nerves are calmer.” (State-run daily Ghatreh, June 2, 2021)

Then Ali Sufi, government expert admitted: “We do not see any electoral excitement, the election atmosphere is not political, it is security. This planning (elimination of candidates) based on expediency is considered more important than elections.” (ILNA, June 2, 2021)

Iran Media Admits to Economic Problems Being Caused by Mullahs

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Over the past few days, Iranian state media has been admitting to some of the economic crises that the country is facing. Given that these outlets are linked to the mainstream factions, this is a major admission.

The newspapers and websites already reveal the infighting that goes on between the factions, but their latest pieces highlight that the Iranian people are suffering under the yoke of the mullahs on all levels because of the authorities’ corruption and policies.

The Tabnak News Agency wrote on May 23: “Economists believe that the country is currently facing many challenges such as structural inflation, low economic growth, coronavirus pandemic and lack of rapid vaccination, nuclear negotiations and sanctions, demographic window and the employment problem, social security and pension funds, improving the business environment, water resources crisis, capital outflow in the country, and privatization.”

One of the major problems for the Iranian people in terms of the economy is the sky-rocketing inflation rate, which is making everything from food to housing more expensive.

The Sharq daily said that this had resulted in $350 billion stagnant capital in the housing sector, $650 billion in gold and coins, and $20 billion in the foreign exchange market, adding up to $1 trillion. They also noted that the point-to-point inflation rate from March 2020 to 2021 is 48.7%.

The Arman daily wrote: “The current issue of Iranian society, especially on the eve of the elections, is the livelihood of the people. People are facing challenges in daily life, and there is an employment crisis. On the other hand, salaries are not only not strengthened but also weakened. People’s purchasing power has dropped dramatically.”

The article then posited about how the economy got here, before explaining that the issue was “structural” and that while the economy is not an issue for the officials, it is for the people who experience homelessness, unemployment, and poor living conditions. The paper wrote that the authorities only care about the economy when it causes the people to revolt.

While officials often try to blame international sanctions for economic issues, the media and economists know that the true reason is institutionalized and systematic corruption.

Economist Hossain Raghfar said: “One of the issues today in the case of power outages is the issue of currency codes. China, India, Turkey, and Poland are [mining bitcoin] in Iran because of cheap electricity. Or the scarcity of meat. On the one hand, livestock is smuggled to the countries of the southern Persian Gulf, and on the other hand, meat is imported.”

The mullahs have a plan titled “Empowerment and sustainability of the Social Security Organization” but the ILNA has said that this actually “fundamentally changes” how pensions are calculated, reduces the benefits, and harms workers’ rights.

About this reality the head of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce Gholam Hossein Shafei stated in a meeting of economic activists with Mohsen Rezaei, one of the presidential candidates on June 1 said:

“Fortunately, in this period, the approach of all candidates is the economic approach. But it should be noted that we have witnessed this in the past.”

The head of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce continued: “Today, it is embarrassing that the share of the Iranian economy in the world economy has halved compared to 40 years ago, but we do not compare ourselves with the world. These are all the results of meaningless promises.

“Despite the mineral resources, and with the manpower capacity which is almost enough, but the question is, why are we now in such a situation?” (Sepehr News daily, June 1, 2021)

In an interview with ISNA, Kambiz Norouzi a juristic said that the plan to ‘ban officials from leaving Iran after the end of their responsibilities’ which is on the agenda of the Parliamentary Judiciary Commission, does not show the fight against corruption, but it shows the depth of corruption in the country. The dimensions of corruption in rent-seeking management have become so complex, widespread, organized, and deep that such plans have unfortunately been relied upon to combat it.” (Khabar Khoy website, June 1, 2021)

How the West Should Respond to Iran’s Presidential Election

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Iran’s Guardian Council, which supervises elections, announced last Wednesday the final list of approved candidates for the presidential election on June 18.

In a move that shocked many, the Council disqualified several prominent officials, including former parliament speaker Ali Larijani, but this is believed to be a way for supreme leader Ali Khamenei, who directly or indirectly appoints every Council member, to consolidate power amid the people’s rising discontent.

With Larijani out of the race, the frontrunner is judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi, a long time high-ranking official, who was personally responsible for the deaths of hundreds of political prisoners during the 1988 massacre, where 30,000 dissidents were murdered in just a few weeks after show trials presided over by the so-called Death Commissions.

The simple fact is that elections in Iran are not about democracy; they’re a mere façade that only serves to legitimise the rulling theocracy to the Western world while crushing the people. Given the current situation in Iran, thanks to the failing economy, the pandemic, and increased human rights abuses, the government is in the weakest place it’s ever been and officials believe that this is the single most important election since the mullahs took power in 1979. Khamenei needed to consolidate power to maintain control for a little bit longer, which is why the Council disqualified all of the reformist candidates who stood a chance at winning.

After all, the people have already made their feelings clear about the current rulling system in two nationwide protests since the 2017 presidential elections, as well as the boycott of the parliamentary elections last year. It is believed that the people will be boycotting this election on a scale not yet seen; rejecting the idea that there is any difference between moderates and hardliners.

Maryam Rajavi, the president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said: “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 West must end its appeasement of Tehran, take a tough stance on the mullahs, admit that the elections are illegitimate, hold Tehran to account for its crimes against the Iranian people and the rest of the world, and stand with the Iranian people in their fight for freedom.