Although many believed that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei was preparing conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi to be his heir by placing him in the presidency, the election results gave Hassan Rouhani a second term, instead.
The run up to the elections prompted all candidates to unveil corruption in their senior ranks, giving rise to increased demands from the people of Iran. Protests and demonstrations were seen in more than 30 cities and towns across Iran.
Additionally, a new international coalition is shaping and targeting Tehran’s interests. The Arab-Islamic-American alliance, includes 55 States, but excludes Iran.
As well, the victory of Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), in transferring all its members from Iraq to a number of European countries, shows that it has become ever more powerful. Their vast network of supporters inside Iran were able to significantly influence the recent elections and place the regime in a quagmire like never before.
In Paris, on July 1st, the annual major rally held by supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the political umbrella group of Iranian dissidents, including the PMOI/MEK is expected to be attended by more than 100,000 people based on attendance of last year’s rally. Policymakers and influential figures from across the globe will gather to provide a concrete plan to establish freedom and democracy in Iran, and peace and stability in the Middle East.
US President Trump strongly condemned Iran during his trip to the region for its support for terrorism, destructive role across the Middle East, and meddling in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.
Kia writes, “Tehran is most specifically concerned with world leaders denouncing Iran’s human rights violations and acknowledging how the Iranian people are the main victims of the mullahs’ atrocities.” He adds, “Despite the heavy blows and new sanctions against Tehran, Khamenei has chosen to remain completely silent.”
The Trump administration imposed sanctions on several Iranian companies, which sends an important message. Sanctions have now encompassed not only ballistic missiles, but also human rights, and designation of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization is now under consideration.
Fars news agency described a new U.S. Senate bill as an “effort to bring Europe aboard in nuclear sanctions.”
Naseem Online cited a UN report, “Foreign investment in Iran during the past four years has halved during the past four years, lowering from $4.6 billion to $2.05 billion.”
Kia writes, “The Arabs, as the flagbearers of implementing U.S. sanctions, have launched the domino of freezing Iran’s money abroad. Iranian bank accounts in countries such as Turkey, Oman, and the UAE, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, are being blocked one after another. This can be considered the prelude to comprehensive sanctions on Iran’s banking network.”
Iran’s power structure is controlled by the Supreme Leader, so Rouhani is unable to carry out any measures without Khamenei’s approval, so change emanating from within Iran is unlikely. This was evident in Rouhani’s first term.
“They want to change our behavior, but changing it means changing our regime,” Khamenei said recently.
Rouhani recently stated that Tehran would continue its ballistic missile program. “... US officials should know whenever we need to technically test a missile, we will do so and will not wait for their permission," he said in a news conference.
The construction of a third underground ballistic missile production factory and continued development of its missile program was reported recently by the Iranian regime. The report came during the week of Trump’s foreign visit, where he described Iran as a supporter of militia groups and a threat to all Middle East countries.
Kia writes, “Rouhani is an ‘utterly ruthless operator’, who had presided since 2013 over a collapsing economy and what Amnesty International called ‘a staggering execution spree’, murdering and imprisoning so many dissidents that Iran has per capita the highest execution rate in the world, according to Christopher Booker in a recent Telegraph article.”
Only regime change will bring about what the Iranian people desire and deserve, according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and their president-elect Maryam Rajavi’s ten-point plan, which calls for a free and democratic Iran where equal opportunities are provided to all citizens regardless of gender, ethnicity, and religion. During Iran’s presidential campaign, Iranians showed their support for Rajavi’s plan by putting up posters reading “Maryam Rajavi is our president.”