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Why Iran’s 2021 Election Is Different

Explosive Society, Impending Boycott, Unprecedented Purge

This report highlights the difference between the 2021 election and all prior 12 presidential elections in Iran.

While every election since 1979 has been rigged, they have served to give an appearance of democracy and republicanism to the ruling theocracy. The 2021 election is, however, vastly different, because Iran in 2021 is on the threshold of a fundamental transformation.

This election marks an end to the games and masquerades. It is now evident that the true fight is between the people and the organized opposition seeking freedom and democracy on the one side, and the entirety of the regime headed by Khamenei and Raisi and powered by the IRGC on the other. The electoral purge is, however, only a stopgap, which will likely backfire, given the fragile state of the regime. Khamenei has alienated a significant segment of the establishment and further narrowed the theocracy’s power base. The tide has shifted in favor of the people, who are expected to respond to the Supreme Leader with a massive boycott, the flip side of their desire to end the rule of the ayatollahs and establish a free and democratic republic.