Alireza Jafarzadeh: Iranians will boycott the parliamentary elections because their political system is rigged in favor of Khamenei and his candidates

Iran’s Sham Elections: NCRI Exposes Regime Fear and Fragility

By NCRI-US Staff, February 23, 2024

On Thursday, February 22, 2024, Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Director of the National Council of Iran U.S. Representative Office (NCRI-US), held a press conference that shed light on the upcoming Iranian parliamentary elections scheduled for March 1st. Jafarzadeh’s presentation, backed by compelling evidence and internal documents, exposed the regime’s manipulation, suppression, and deepening internal fractures, painting a grim picture of a system clinging to power through fear and coercion. He also highlighted Tehran’s agenda to step up terror and regional crises as a tool to cover internal weakness and counter its own population, who seek the overthrow of the regime.

A Charade of Choice: Public Boycott and Regime’s Rigged Game

During the conference, Alireza Jafarzadeh emphasized the public’s disillusionment with the electoral process, citing widespread anticipation of a boycott. He presented evidence of the regime’s orchestrated “purification” campaign, which resulted in the disqualification of prominent regime loyalists like former President Hassan Rouhani and intelligence ministers. This unprecedented purge, engineered by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, stemmed from the regime’s fear of a repeat of the nationwide uprisings and the activities of the Iranian Resistance, particularly the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK), whose Resistance Units have acted as an engine for change during the protests. The regime, he asserted, seeks to control the narrative and prevent any semblance of a genuine challenge to its authority.

Beyond the Ballot Box: The Reality of Power Dynamics

The NCRI-US Deputy Director delved deeper, exposing the regime’s power structure and its reliance on extra-electoral mechanisms to maintain control. He highlighted the dominance of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Khamenei’s office, the Beyt, which effectively functions as a “deep state” controlling the levers of power. This “deep state,” he explained, with Khamenei at the helm, controls the parliament, judiciary, and executive branch, effectively rendering the elections a mere formality. The IRGC, Jafarzadeh explained, exerts significant influence over the candidate selection process, ensuring a parliament compliant with Khamenei’s agenda. He presented documents revealing the IRGC’s intelligence apparatus playing a key role in vetting candidates and setting the stage for their disqualification by the Guardian Council, further solidifying the regime’s control over the outcome.

The Price of Manipulation: Weakening Foundations and Eroding Public Trust

Jafarzadeh emphasized the unintended consequences of the regime’s heavy-handed tactics. He pointed out that Khamenei’s strategy of purging rivals and consolidating power has serious consequences despite short-term benefits, alienating even his close allies and shrinking the regime’s base of support. This, coupled with public resentment towards widespread corruption and economic hardship, has further eroded the regime’s legitimacy. Jafarzadeh highlighted the stark disparity in salaries between parliament members, who receive up to 15 times the wages of engineers and 20 times those of teachers, as a glaring example of the regime’s disconnect from the people’s struggles.

Terrorism and Repression: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Jafarzadeh shed light on the interconnectedness of the regime’s domestic repression and its foreign policy. He argued that the regime, facing mounting domestic dissent and fearing overthrow, resorts to war-mongering and supporting terrorist proxies to project power abroad and deflect attention from its internal problems. This strategy, however, comes at a heavy cost to the Iranian people, who continue to suffer under the regime’s oppressive measures and bear the brunt of its misadventures abroad. He pointed to documents revealing plans to allocate increased funding to the IRGC and its proxies in the region, further fueling instability and jeopardizing regional security.

The Possibility of Khamenei’s Death and His Successor

The Assembly of Experts 8-years-term elections is designed only to include Khamenei’s closest allies, Jafarzadeh argued, as its prospect of choosing the next Supreme Leader is higher than before. He detailed how the Guardian Council has hand-picked the closest allies of Khamenei to ensure that the next Supreme Leader if the regime survives before Khamenei’s death, would represent more of the same.

A Call to Action: Accountability and Supporting the Iranian People’s Aspirations

The author of The Iran Threat, Jafarzadeh, concluded the press conference by urging the international community to take a firm stance against the Iranian regime. He called for the reimposition of comprehensive sanctions, including reinstating all prior UN Security Council resolutions, to hold the regime accountable for its human rights violations, support for terrorism, and destabilization of the region. He emphasized the need for the international community to recognize the Iranian people’s right to self-determination and support their aspirations and efforts to bring about change and secure a democratic future based on the vote of the people. Jafarzadeh highlighted the role of the MEK and the Iranian Resistance in leading the struggle for democracy and human rights in Iran, urging the international community to stand on the side of those who are fighting for change in Iran.

Beyond the Headlines: A Glimpse into the Future

The NCRI’s exposé offers a glimpse into the precarious situation within Iran. The upcoming elections, devoid of genuine public participation and mired in manipulation, serve as a stark reminder of the Iranian people’s yearning for freedom and a representative government. The international community faces a critical juncture where decisive action is needed to address the Iranian regime’s malign activities and support the Iranian people’s quest for a brighter future. NCRI’s call for accountability and support for the Iranian Resistance serves as a roadmap for navigating this complex situation and promoting peace, stability, and respect for human rights in the region.


Watch Alireza Jafarzadeh’s press conference below.


Alireza Jafarzadeh: Iranians will boycott the parliamentary elections because their political system is rigged in favor of Khamenei and his candidatesAlireza Jafarzadeh: Iranians will boycott the parliamentary elections because their political system is rigged in favor of Khamenei and his candidates
Alireza Jafarzadeh: Iranians will boycott the parliamentary elections because their political system is rigged in favor of Khamenei and his candidatesAlireza Jafarzadeh: Iranians will boycott the parliamentary elections because their political system is rigged in favor of Khamenei and his candidates
Mr. Alireza Jafarzadeh Speaking on Tehran’s Sham Elections in 2024
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