The chair of the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) Foreign Affairs Committee Mohammad Mohaddessin gave a press conference yesterday about the latest developments in the Iranian Presidential campaign, what this might mean, and what the international community should do.

He advised that elections under the regime have never been free or fair, but rather tightly controlled by the unelected Supreme Leader who uses his Guardian Council to vet candidates based on their personal loyalty to him. Calling the elections a “travesty”, Mohaddessin said that the outcome is not determined by the will of the people, who would opt for regime change, but rather by the regime’s internal power balance.

Despite this, he said that the 2021 elections are different from the previous ones thanks to the:

  • 2018, 2019, and 2020 nationwide uprisings
  • daily protests from almost all sectors of society
  • bankrupt economy
  • international isolation
  • increased infighting amongst the mullahs
  • a more active opposition force

Mohaddesin explained that because of all this, Khamenei needs to consolidate power, which is why the Guardian Council had to disqualify former Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, who has also held several other high-ranking positions. He explained that Khamenei needs Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi, who played a key role in the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, to become president, to increase the suppression of the Iranian people to keep the regime in power. However, this will only make the regime weaker long-term.

He said: “The regime will become more vulnerable in the face of the looming nationwide uprising waiting in the wings. And when that happens, it will be far more intense and widespread than in previous years. In a nutshell, for Khamenei, this is a battle of survival… All the repressive measures, arrests, executions, and restrictions on social media have failed. They haven’t prevented the spread of the organized opposition, in the form of Resistance Units. The nationwide call for the boycott of the sham election has gained momentum and people are openly calling for the regime’s overthrow.”

Mohaddessin noted that there are daily calls by state media and officials about growing support for the Resistance, especially from young people, with many likely to boycott the elections.

He said that the mullahs continue to act the way they do because they feel immune from international criticism, which is why the world must refuse to believe the regime’s lies about so-called moderates anymore. This has only ever hurt the Iranian people.

These are the four actions that he advised upon:

  • Echo the Iranian people’s condemnation of this sham election
  • Stop the mullahs’ impunity for crimes against humanity
  • Bring the mullahs to justice
  • Stand with the Iranian people’s fight for freedom