Current president, Hassan Rouhani, is a serious contender. Ebrahim Raisi is another. He is the custodian of Astan Quds Razavi – the country’s richest charity. His position here has gained him the trust of Supreme Leader Khamenei. They are both faithful to the rule of the ayatollahs. 

Raisi was a member of the so-called “death commission” that oversaw the deaths of around 30,000 political prisoners during the 1988 massacre. Most of those who died were members or supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organizations of Iran (PMOI/MEK) – the Iranian opposition. 

Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, who was supposed to be the successor to Khomeini, told the members of the death commission that they were participating in a serious crime that would go down in history. 

On 5th June 2013, the Parliament in Canada said the following: “That the House condemn the mass murder of political prisoners in Iran in the summer of 1988 as a crime against humanity, honors the memory of the victims buried in mass graves at Khavaran cemetery and other locations in Iran, and establishes Sept. 1 as a day of solidarity with political prisoners in Iran.”

This is not the extent of Raisi’s crimes; he has been involved in many other acts of suppression, but the 1988 massacre is one of the most bloody and horrific. 

It would be understandable to think that any other candidate in the elections would be less criminal that Raisi, but this is not the case. Rouhani is just as brutal. His justice minister is Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi – another member of the death commission. Pour-Mohammadi, when urged to comment on the 1988 massacre, said: “I carried out God’s will and I have not lost sleep over what I did.”

During his presidency, Rouhani has overseen an unprecedented number of executions. So far there have been 3,000 executions since he took office in 2013. Speaking about the number of executions carried out, Rouhani too claims it is God’s will. He said: “They were carried out according to God’s laws.”

The European Union sanctioned Iran for the suppression of the people, stating that the regime is complicit in “torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, or the indiscriminate, excessive and increasing application of the death penalty, including public executions, stoning, hangings or executions of juvenile offenders.”

The fact that the contenders for the presidency are so loyal to the regime and are unabashed suppressors of the people shows that the Iranian regime is in trouble. It is at a very weak stage and clearly fears another uprising like the one in 2009. And the regime has reason to be fearful, because the people really are on the verge of taking to the streets.