Iran's Fraud Elections

Iran’s Moribund Regime Falling Into Election Year Trap

By Alireza Jafarzadeh, Originally Published in Newsmax World, Thursday, 29 February 2024

As the March 1st Iranian elections loom, it is increasingly evident that they are a farce orchestrated by the oppressive regime of Ali Khamenei. Since the beginning of the regime’s mass killings in 1981 and mainly since the Iranian uprisings in 2017, the citizenry has spoken loud and clear: They will widely boycott sham elections.

In rejecting the regime’s oppressive rule, this act of defiance signals the regime’s imminent downfall. The rest of the world must heed, as the election process impacts Tehran’s regional policies and prospects for survival among its population.

Gradually, the complete picture of the Middle East crisis is coalescing as the world realizes that the head of the snake of war and terrorism lies in Tehran.

A newly obtained directive from inside the Iranian regime’s parliament, dated November 7, details Khamenei’s recalibration of Tehran’s foreign policy. He plans to make it “maritime centered” to “achieve a worthy global position and first place in the region.”

His empty words essentially signify terrorism in the seas. Days later, on November 19, 2023, terror attacks by Tehran’s proxies, the Houthis, against targets and commercial ships in the Red Sea began and have since escalated.

To identify a solution, policymakers must realize that the regime’s warmongering tactics in the region stem from an acute domestic weakness. The upcoming Iranian elections should illustrate the regime’s Achilles Heel and inspire new policy based on the realities in Iran.

The widespread purge of candidates, dubbed “purification” by Khamenei, includes prominent figures such as former President Hassan Rouhani and former intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi, thus exposing the regime’s desperation to cling to its power.

The elections of the 88-member Assembly of Experts, whose sole task is to select Khamenei’s successor following his death, are curated to only include candidates with whom Khamenei is closely allied.

Khamenei fears a resurgence of uprisings and activities by the Resistance Units, which are structured by the main organized opposition seeking to overthrow his regime. This, coupled with Khamenei’s desire to expand foreign interventions and the looming question of his succession, led Khamenei to disqualify former regime allies and consolidate power in the hands of the most loyal forces.

However, the purges have further eroded the power base and weakened the regime from within.

As a result, a widespread election boycott has extended to the regime’s supporters. The regime’s increasing reliance on repression and terrorism is a testament to its vulnerability, as it resorts to brute force to maintain control.

In 2023, the regime executed 864 prisoners, equating to one murder every 10 hours. The rate of killings is already higher in 2024.

Behind the facade of the system’s three branches of government lies a deep state control organization. Khamenei’s office, known as the Beyt, is overseen by his son, Mojtaba, and the IRGC. His clandestine network manipulates each facet of Iranian governance, rendering institutions like the parliament as puppets in Khamenei’s hands.

The regime’s parliament has increasingly become a rubber stamp to fulfill the demands of Khamenei and the IRGC. They offer a legal cover by endorsing his repressive policies while simultaneously lining their members’ pockets with exorbitant salaries.

This blatant corruption only fuels resentment among the Iranian populace, widening the gap between citizens and their regime.

As the regime doubles down on warmongering and terrorism abroad, revisions of Iranian policy are urgent. The international community, particularly the United States and Europe, must impose sanctions against the regime to hold it accountable for its terrorist crimes abroad and domestic human rights atrocities within. They should exercise authority to revive all prior UN sanctions and refer the regime’s case to the U.N. Security Council under Chapter Seven.

The international community must stand with the Iranian people by recognizing their right to determine their future. For decades, they have unendingly suffered under the yoke of theocratic oppression.

The Iranian citizenry and their organized Resistance find solace not in the feigned ballot box but in uprisings and action against the repressive forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The world must act in support of their quest for freedom and democracy.

A free Iranian republic based on secularism and popular sovereignty is the ultimate solution to incessant regional conflict and global terrorism. Action must start now.

Alireza Jafarzadeh, author of The Iran Threat (Palgrave Macmillan: New York), is best known for revealing the nuclear sites in Natanz and Arak, which triggered the IAEA inspection of Iranian sites. He is the Deputy Director of the Washington Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. He tweets at @A_Jafarzadeh.

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