Insider news & Analysis in Iran

By INU Staff

INU - The democratic elections held by the Iranian Resistance show that there is indeed an alternative to the repressive, totally rule of the mullahs, according to one political scientist.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh wrote an op-ed for Arab News, entitled Iran’s opposition shows how to run an election, in which he dismissed claims by the Iranian Regime and their apologists that the mullahs are the only option for governing Iran.

He wrote: “Proponents of the Iranian government argue that there exist no better alternatives to the political establishment of the ruling clerics. The reality is, though, that there are indeed alternative establishments — ones that are organized and democratic. As Iran finds itself engulfed in domestic and external turmoil, the opposition-in-exile has shown that it enjoys a tremendous amount of prowess and cohesion, and upholds democracy and democratic values.”

On Wednesday September 6, the principal Iranian opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), held its 52nd-anniversary congress and elected Zahra Merrikhi as the new secretary general.

This election took place across six countries due to the displacement of its supporters, including Albania, where many MEK members are living, having escaped exile in Iraq. It involved three separate elections; one which whittled down the candidates from 12 to four, one which whittled down the candidates from four to just Merrikhi, and one final election in which everyone was given the choice to vote yes or no on Merrikhi. She was unanimously elected.

Rafizadeh wrote: “The democratic approach adopted by the opposition in this election process is in stark contrast to the one imposed on its compatriots by the regime ruling Iran for the past four decades. It also undercuts the oft-repeated, regime inspired characterization that the opposition has an authoritarian structure.”

He continued: “If we were to take the Iranian regime’s presidential [so-called] election into consideration, we would view a selection by an unelected few, far from anything resembling an election in the 21st century. Iran’s so-called presidential elections, which [bans] all women, is a procedure in which all candidates are vetted by 12 ultraconservative clerics and so-called legal experts, named the Guardian Council, who are directly and indirectly appointed by the Supreme Leader. All candidates are evaluated for their utter devotion and obedience to the clerical regime and Supreme Leader.”

Merrikhi’s election has added fuel to fire of regime change in Iran, with the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Maryam Rajavi saying that this signals that change in Iran will come soon and Merrikhi saying that the MEK is prepared to overthrow the mullahs’ Regime with the help of the Iranian people.

The Iranian Regime, in direct contrast to the Resistance, is unpopular amongst its own people, fighting amongst themselves for the last remaining scraps of power, and will soon be condemned to the trash heap of history.

Rafizadeh wrote: “The critical time has come to robustly support other Iranian democratic establishments, which oppose Iran’s ruling clerics, the IRGC, its sectarian agenda and Tehran’s hegemonic ambitions. Standing with Iran’s opposition would be a strong blow to Iran’s leaders, who fear the soft power of the opposition more than the hard power of foreign nations.”

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