WASHINGTON , DC, June 17, 2021 — Key Points on Iran’s 2021 Rigged Presidential Election:
- Don’t search for “hardliners vs. moderates.” The regime’s ship is sinking.
- Battered by a series of uprisings since 2017, institutionalized corruption, and a bankrupt economy, Khamenei finds his regime increasingly weak and vulnerable.
- People see the theocracy as the first and foremost cause of their economic misery.
- The Iranian people no longer pin any hope on elections as a conduit for substantive change.
- Widespread and unprecedented boycott is expected, as the Iranian citizens in every sector of the society and in all 31 provinces openly call for boycott.
- The November 2019 uprising was a rude awakening, as the regime could not prevent the protests, which were temporarily curbed only by resorting to sheer repression and exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps opened fire, killing over 1,500 people during the November 2019 uprising. The images of those murdered in cold blood will never leave the Iranian people’s psyche.
- Risking a massive election boycott, and shrinking his power base, desperate Khamenei seeks to consolidate power with those absolutely loyal only to him.
- Khamenei’s choice is Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi, notorious for his role, as a member of the “death committee,” in the execution of thousands (as high as 30,000) of political prisoners in summer of 1988, according to Amnesty International and U.N. experts.
- The Supreme Leader singled out Raisi because of his track record of implementing the most draconian measures to suppress dissent, and an infinite willingness to crack down on the organized opposition.
- Born in 1960, Raisi started training as a cleric in Qom’s seminary at 15, became the prosecutor of the Revolutionary Court of Karaj (fourth most populated city of Iran) when he was just 20, and eventually rose to Judiciary Chief in 2019.
- Iran is indeed a powder keg, where anything could trigger another nationwide revolt.
- U.S. should take note of these new realities, and look at Iran through a new prism. A weaker and more desperate regime is prone to more concessions. Accountability should be the agenda for any future encounters.
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