With little over a month to go until the presidential election in Iran, there still does not appear to be a serious candidate and the infighting between the reformist and hardliner factions, not that the differences between the two are huge, has gotten worse.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif acknowledged in audio leaked last week that the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) dominate government policy, which drew criticism from the hardliners, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Now, the state-run media, including the IRNA news agency and the Vatan-e Emrouz daily, are warning that this could spur the people into a new uprising because of the precarious situation that the country is already in.
Another possibility is that the people, already acutely aware that there’s no difference between the two factions, will heed the calls of the Resistance and boycott the elections altogether. The Sharq daily and Mostaghel daily already warned of voter turnouts between 40 and 60 percent, because of the traction the idea is getting amongst protesters in recent weeks, including pensioners, nurses, investors, farmers, and workers.
In a number of protests since the start of the year, demonstrators from all across Iran chanted slogans like:
- “We have seen no justice and we will not vote!”
- “We will not vote, we’ve heard so many lies”
- “Boycott of the mullahs’ sham elections”
What’s more, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)’s Resistance Units have taken part in a nationwide campaign to promote the boycott and received widespread support for the people who are angry at the mullahs’ corruption and incompetence.
The Hamdeli daily wrote: “Before we worry about the political consequences of a low election turnout, we should worry about the social consequences. All candidates have a serious obstacle being non-participation in the election.”
While the Jahane Sanat daily wrote: “A large part of the society has boycotted elections due to mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis, economic woes, pressure on people’s livelihood, officials’ negligence regarding the social events of January 2018 and November 2019. Given the status quo, a significant voter turnout is unlikely.”
As a affirmation that the presidential election in Iran is just a show and sham-election, the state-run daily Shargh on May 6, 2021 wrote:
“In previous presidential elections, we have seen that some candidates were not accepted by strange interpretations, or they could not present themselves for the people choice, or they were prevented from the candidacy, being accused by expressions like non-practical adherence to Islam or the constitution, or like these, they have prevented the candidancy of those which they did not liked.
“A very clear example of this behavior can be seen in the situation of disqualification of candidates for city council elections. The law on council elections has not changed; But in the current period, with the dominant approach in the parliament, the qualifications of a large group of candidates for the council elections have been rejected in an unprecedented and astonishing way.”
Simply put, there is no democratic election in Iran and voting will not bring about real change, so instead the people should boycott the election and show the international community that the regime does not have the backing of its people and is therefore illegitimate. Following that, the people must rise up and overthrow the regime in order to change the country for the better.
And more astonishing is the regime’s Guardian Council on May 5 anncouned that the IRGC officers are allowed to participate in the presidential election and nominate themselves for the candidancy.
“Ministers, governors, mayors of cities with a population of more than two million, senior commanders of the armed forces with the rank of major general and above can be a candidate.”