By The Editorial Board, Originally published in NCR-Iran.org, 8th June 2021
The perpetrator of Genocide and Crime against Humanity
Introduction: A mass murderer for president, why?
Iran is on the brink of a seminal transformation in this year’s presidential “election.” The regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, took a major step this week to push through his preferred candidate for the presidency, Ebrahim Raisi, current head of the judiciary.
Through his own appointed Guardian Council, Khamenei “disqualified” all those who could be Raisi’s rivals. They include Ali Larijani, the 12-year-old head of the regime’s parliament, Khamenei’s current personal advisor, and his special representative on special foreign missions, including in relations with China. Eshaq Jahangiri, who has held top government positions since the beginning of the regime and has been the first vice president of Hassan Rouhani for eight years, was also disqualified.
Therefore, Khamenei has decidedly chosen to raise Raisi to the presidency and sacrifice those closest to him, ending the reformist-hardliner show and embarrassing those in the West who for decades have advocated appeasement based on this false narrative. The sham election is now a one-man show.
Ebrahim Raisi, current Judiciary Chief, subservient disciple to Ruhollah Khomeini, the only serious contender among 592 registered candidates, was qualified to run by the Guardian Council. The Iranian people know Raisi as the “Henchman of the 1988 massacre.” He was a key perpetrator of the murder of over 30,000 political prisoners in 1988. He has no academic or religious credentials even within the murderous theocracy. In short, Raisi earned his credentials in the regime as a stone-hearted killer who rose the ranks of ignorant thugs, with a proven 40-year track record for execution and repression.
Even by the regime’s own standards, this year’s election is radically different from past years. It comes after three major nationwide uprisings that shook the regime during the past three years in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Today, the regime continues to confront an explosive society on the verge of uprising more than ever. Despite a global pandemic, protests are held daily by virtually every social sector. Moreover, regime officials and media warn of the pending downfall of their regime almost every day.
To make matters worse, the economy is completely bankrupt. The regime is isolated regionally and internationally. Infighting is escalating dramatically, reaching an explosive state.
With the regime at its weakest point in history, Khamenei felt he had no choice but to consolidate power. So, his coterie in the 12-member Guardian Council axed even a loyal insider like Ali Larijani: the Parliament Speaker for 12 years, Secretary for the Supreme National Security Council, Head of the state-run radio and TV, Minister of Culture, and a general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Why would Khamenei purge one of his closest cronies? He simply had no choice. Owing to the extraordinary crises the regime is facing, Khamenei was stuck between a rock and a hard place. He had no choice but to purge all rival factions to maintain the stability of the ruling clique.
To silence disgruntled rival factions, Khamenei fueled the conflict in Gaza. The Gaza war was commanded from a joint operational headquarters in Beirut, under the direct command of the Quds Force, with the participation of Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In the eleven-day conflict, IRGC Brig. Gen. Qaani traveled to Beirut twice. All of Hamas and Hezbollah’s weaponry is supplied by Khamenei’s regime.
But even this hollow show of force will not provide a way out of the deadly impasse Khamenei is facing. The reasons are, again, simple. The regime’s suppressive measures have all failed. The organized opposition has continued to flourish in the form of Resistance Units across the country. Nationwide calls for the boycott of the sham election have also gained momentum.
Officials and state media are sounding the alarm. Every day, they warn about the growing appeal of the main opposition Mujahedin-e Khalq(MEK), especially among youth.
Even the regime’s former firebrand President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said recently that he is “seeing a flood that will sweep away all of you.” He has explicitly sounded the alarm of the coming revolution.