News

Iran's Presidential Elections

By INU Staff 

INU - Since the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979, Iran has been holding presidential elections every four years. Western media often portray elections in Iran as a struggle between political parties as is the norm in their own countries.

However, there are key differences between elections in Iran and western democracies. A deeper look at the process and dynamics involved in selecting the country's president suggest why there's a strong belief any form of elections in Iran are a sham and the power to rule the country lies elsewhere.

Here's what you need to know about Iran's President and the presidential elections.

The Role of the President

In Iran, the President is the second-highest ranking official after the Supreme Leader, who has the final say in all major state affairs. The President's powers are limited by the clerics in the country's power structure and by the authority of the Supreme Leader. It is the Supreme Leader—not the elected President—who controls Iran's armed forces and makes decisions on security, defence, and key foreign-policy issues.

The President has some say in the level of media freedom and political openness. However, he can be overruled by the clerical establishment via the Judiciary or the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

Presidents serve four-year terms and cannot serve more than two consecutive terms.

Vetting of Candidates

Candidates are vetted by the Election Monitoring Committee of the Guardian Council and it is they who select the handful of candidates who may run for office. In the election of 2013, 680 people applied and the Committee quickly narrowed it down to just eight candidates.

There are general requirements for candidacy which include: being a citizen of Iranian origin; over 18 years of age; a Muslim; qualified to be a care-taker of the Republic; and a possessor of both management abilities and a record of religious and political affiliation to the ‘Republic’.

All candidates in the regime are required by law to exhibit "heart-felt and practical allegiance" to absolute clerical rule as a prerequisite for their candidacy. That allegiance is determined by the Guardian Council whose six clerics are installed by the Supreme Leader while the remaining six jurists are appointed by the Head of the Judiciary who is selected by the Supreme Leader.

According to Scott Lucas, an Iran specialist at Britain's Birmingham University, the Guardians Council's decisions are based more on political loyalties than the credentials of the candidates.

This effectively prevents opposition forces or anyone with fundamentally different political views from taking part in the political process. Lack of inclusiveness in elections is one of the factors that is casting a shadow on Iran’s human rights record.

As Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran says, "Democratic elections, where people are afforded a real choice to pick their leaders, are non-existent in today's Iran; the genuine opposition has no political voice. What currently exists is a constricted power struggle through sham elections whose outcome is shaped not by popular vote but by the regime's internal balance of power."

Registration and Campaigning

The election period is short in Iran—just 20 days. The election is scheduled for May 19 and candidates can only register between April 10 and 14. The final list of candidates is published ten days later on April 24. Campaigning begins on April 27 and runs until two days before the election on May 19. Results are announced the next day, and the inauguration takes place on August 1.

In 2009, widespread protests erupted after it became evident that the ruling elite had rigged the presidential elections in its favor. Security forces brutally cracked down on protesters. Since then, the establishment has taken a number of steps to ensure that the election does not serve as a catalyst to popular protest. Security measures have been tightened, and the media, both foreign and domestic, even more suppressed, with journalists imprisoned.

The Ballot

In Iran, there is no voter registration or roll. Iranians can vote anywhere as long as they present their national identification book, or Shenasnameh, which is stamped at the polling station. 

Once the polling stations are closed, the counting process begins. Neither the general public nor any civil society organisation is permitted to monitor the count. This makes it very difficult to audit election results and ensure the integrity of the vote. 

The Iranian President is determined through an absolute majority. In other words, the person with 50%+1 of the votes is the winner. However, in cases where there is no absolute majority, the law calls for a runoff election between the top two. The runoff election is mandated to take place within one week of the first round of elections.

Once a winner is determined, the Guardian Council approves the election process and the Supreme Leader signs off on the Letter of Presidency. The new President takes the oath of office before the Iranian Majles (Parliament).

Nuclear - Terrorism

Iran’s Supreme Leader Says They Will Continue Violating the Nuclear Deal

The Iranian Regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said Wednesday that Iran will keep reducing its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal until it has the “desired result”, according to his...
Read more

Nuclear Watchdog Finds Iran Has Breached Nuclear Agreement Again

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations nuclear watchdog that monitors Iran regime’s compliance to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has said that Iran has committed...
Read more

As Iran’s Nuclear Violations Escalate, European Attitudes Edge Closer to the US

At the start of this week, the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed the Iranian regime’s latest violations of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The installation of more advanced centrifuges for...
Read more

Human Rights

Iran Executes 99th Woman Since 2013

The Iranian government of the so-called moderate Hassan Rouhani has executed 99th woman since 2013.  A woman, identified only as Maryam, was hanged along with her husband, identified only as Mehdi R., in...
Read more

Iran: Families of November Protests’ Detainees Gather Before Evin Prison

On Wednesday, December 11, several families and relatives of November protests’ detainees gathered and held a sit-in in front of notorious Evin prison in Tehran. They demanded authorities to free...
Read more

Already Deplorable Human Rights Situation in Iran Deteriorating Rapidly Since Onset of Uprising

Since mid-November, the people of Iran have been protesting against the Iranian regime. The protests started off as an objection to the massive rise in fuel prices that the regime...
Read more

Middle East

Iraq’s Uprising Continues

Tensions in Iraq rose Friday night after gunmen linked with Iran-backed militias fired on demonstrators throughout Baghdad’s protest hotspots. 25 protesters were killed and over 130 wounded, after a bloody...
Read more

Facebook Deletes Page of Iran’s Supreme Leader

On Friday, December 6, social media giant Facebook deleted the Arabic page of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei due to breaching its rules. Notably, the Iranian regime shut down the...
Read more

Breaking Khamenei’s Front Line, Iranian’s Regime Levee Crushed in Iraq

Adel Abdul Mahdi has announced his imminent resignation from the Iraqi prime ministery. After two months of suffering and bloodshed, following the Nasiriyah uprising in Iraq, the red line...
Read more

Analysis & Policy

Iran: There Is No Lesser Evil Anywhere in the Leadership

By INU Staff INU - President Hassan Rouhani won his second term last month. He was up against Ebrahim Raisi (the candidate preferred by Supreme Leader Khamenei). However, Rouhani’s election has...
Read more

Iran: Rouhani Faces Attacks on All Sides

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is facing mounting pressure at home and abroad which, according to Reuters, may affect his ability to run the country. Reuters notes that Rouhani, who was re-elected...
Read more

Power Struggles Make Iran's Regime Unstable

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...
Read more

Iranian Opposition

Maryam Rajavi's Speech on Iran Protests for Internationa Human Rights Day

Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian opposition, sent out a message to mark International Human Rights Day on December 10, where she proudly echoed the cries of the Iranian people for justice...
Read more

Maryam Rajavi’s Speech to the Italian Parliament on Iran Protests

On Tuesday, December 10, the Italian Parliament held a conference in support of the Iranian people’s nationwide uprising, which was attended by a large number of Italian MPs, freedom-loving personalities...
Read more

Inside Iran’s Misinformation Campaign Against MEK in Albania

On November 27, a powerful earthquake shook Duress and its surrounding areas in western Albania, killing more than 50 people. The country mourned. On November 29, instead of celebrating Albania's...
Read more

Women

40% of Female Grads Unemployed in One Iranian Province

Almost 40% of all female graduates in one Iranian province are unemployed and looking for work. Leila Ajhir, Director General of Women and Family Affairs in Kurdistan, told the state-run Fars...
Read more

Maryam Rajavi on the Role of Women in the MEK: Part 3

Earlier this year, at the Free Iran conference in Ashraf 3. Albania, Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) gave an impassioned speech about...
Read more

Maryam Rajavi on the Role of Women in the MEK: Part 2

Earlier this year, at the Free Iran conference in Ashraf 3. Albania, Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian opposition, gave an impassioned speech about the role of women in...
Read more

Economy

New Evidence Emerges of Rampant Corruption in Iran’s Oil and Export Markets

By Edward Carney On Tuesday, IranWire published an article that attached a dramatic figure to the closely-related issues of Iran’s escalating economic crisis and the corruption of entities in both the...
Read more

Iran’s export to Iraq drop by 50%

By INU Staff INU - Iraq has significantly reduced its imports from the Iranian Regime in the past month, according to an economic-focused newspaper published in Tehran. The report notes that part...
Read more

Iran Regime’s economic problems caused by military interference

By INU Staff INU - Iran’s economy is set to contract by 6% in 2019, while also facing 40% inflation, according to the International Monetary Fund’s April 2019  Regional Economic Outlook for...
Read more

Sanctions

US Treasury Designates Iranian Shipping Network Helping IRGC and Houthis

The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated an Iranian shipping network smuggling lethal aid to Yemen from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF)...
Read more

US Steps Up Sanctions Pressure on Iran

Behzad Pourqanad, a smuggler of the Iranian government, has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for illegally exporting carbon fiber from the United States to Iran. In a statement Thursday,...
Read more

US and Six Middle Eastern Countries Apply Sanctions on Iran Network

The United States and six Middle Eastern countries have agreed to impose sanctions jointly on 25 corporations, banks, and individuals that are connected to Iran regime’s support for militant networks,...
Read more

Insider

The Iranian Regime’s Twisted Version of the Truth Behind the November Protests

As a result of the widespread anger over the number of protesters killed by the regime in the course of the recent Iran protests, the regime is now attempting to...
Read more

Regime’s Friday Prayers Leaders Suggest Iran Uprising Not Over

The Iranian uprising is continuing despite a brutal crackdown by Iranian security forces, with regime’s authorities now terrified of another large-scale protest soon, something that was evident in Friday prayers.  The...
Read more

US Congress Increasing Pressure on Iran Regime

The US Congress is increasing pressure on Iran’s regime as protests continue across the country and the regime slaughters the demonstrators.  Capitol Hill lawmakers introduced this week the first formal piece...
Read more

Iran Protests 2018

Free Iran 2018 Gathering - 30 June 2018 - Villepinte, Paris

latest INU tweet

GETTING TO KNOW IRAN'S REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS

Latest News

Maryam Rajavi's Speech on...

Maryam Rajavi’s Speech to...

Inside Iran’s...

Estimating Support for the...

Estimating Support for the...

Estimating Support for the...

Maryam Rajavi Vows to Take...

Maryam Rajavi Vows to Take...

Estimating Support for the...

Estimating Support for the...

THE STORY OF THE 1988 MASSACRE IN IRAN