BEHIND THE IRAN HEADLINES Series, June 2, 2021
Alireza Jafarzadeh, NCRI-US Deputy Director: The campaigning for Iran’s June 18 presidential election began on May 28. This election has already shown it will be very consequential one with huge implications for the regime’s future and the policy makers.
Our new book released today, entitled “Why Iran’s 2021 Election Is Different,” provides a unique perspective the June electoral farce.
This election is first and foremost about the diminishing state of the ruling theocracy, which is at its weakest point since 1979. Iran is on the threshold of a fundamental transformation fueled by:
- Game-changing uprisings since 2017
- Economic crisis and systemic corruption
- The impending historic boycott
- Criminally incompetent handling of COVID-19 pandemic
- Furious factional infighting
To prevent, or at least delay, the coming seismic change, Khamenei, has purged the rivals to consolidate power in the hands of his suppressive surrogates in all three branches of the government.
At the executive branch, his chosen figure is the Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi, notorious for his key role in the 1988 massacre of as many as 30,000 political prisoners.
To make a mass murderer as his president, Khamenei has eliminated any potential challenge to him.
But that is not going to help. Because the real ongoing contest in Iran is not between factions internal to the theocracy, but the one in the streets between the people and the organized opposition seeking freedom on the one side, and the entirety of the regime headed by Khamenei, Raisi and the IRGC on the other.
We have explained all that in our new book, “Why Iran’s 2021 Election Is Different.”