Alireza Jafarzadeh discusses Iran's Farce Elections

The Looming Massive Election Boycott in Iran

BEHIND THE IRAN HEADLINES Series, February 29, 2024, Alireza Jafarzadeh, NCRI-US Deputy Director

Iran’s March 1st elections are nothing but a mockery, staged by an embattled fascist regime in another desperate bid to solidify its faltering rule. Similar to the 2021 presidential elections, the mystery about this round is not who will win but how massively the Iranian people will boycott it.

The regime’s own politicians and state-run media anticipate an unprecedented boycott and optimistically estimate the number of potential voters at around 30%. Its Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has made numerous public appearances in recent weeks, effectively begging Iranians to vote.

Nevertheless, concerned that any apparent divisions at the top of his regime could hasten his demise faster than a looming boycott, Khamenei has unleashed an unprecedented purge of the regime’s long-time insiders.

The extensive purge of candidates, dubbed “purification” by Khamenei, includes prominent figures like former President Hassan Rouhani and former intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi.

The farce on March 1st also includes the 88-member Assembly of Experts, whose only task is to choose the next supreme leader once Khamenei dies. They are carefully curated to include only Khamenei’s closest allies. The matter of his succession is currently of the highest urgency for him and his inner circle.

Since 1979, holding elections has been the clerics’ ploy to provide a pretense of legitimacy. However, the Iranian people have dismantled that ploy time and again since the onset of a nationwide resistance in 1981 and more recently through nationwide uprisings for the overthrow of the regime in its entirety, particularly since the 2017 protests.

With predominant slogans across the country, such as “Down with the dictator,” “Down with Khamenei,” and “Down with the oppressor, be it the Shah or the Supreme Leader [Khamenei],” they have emphatically voiced their desire for a future Iran free of the past dictatorship of the kings and the current tyranny of the clerics.

The time has come to support the Iranian people’s quest for freedom and democracy. A free Iranian republic, based on the principles of popular sovereignty and the separation of mosque and state, would be the ultimate solution to decades of regional conflict and global terrorism. The time for action is now.

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