BEHIND THE IRAN HEADLINES Series, June 15, 2021
Alireza Jafarzadeh, NCRI-US Deputy Director: Iran’s increasingly fragile regime will hold another sham presidential election on Friday June 18th.
For many insiders, particularly Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, this contest is about survival.
The nationwide uprisings in 2017, 2018, and 2019 featured slogans of “hardliners, reformers, the game is now over,” and “death to the dictator,” signaling that the Iranian people no longer pin any hope on elections as a means for substantive change.
People see the theocracy as the first and foremost cause of their economic misery.
Khamenei, using the Guardian Council wants to consolidate power in the hands of those absolutely loyal only to him.
His choice is current Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi, notorious for his key role in the 1988 massacre of as many as 30,000 political prisoners and the savage crackdown on the November 2019 uprising.
In Iran today, anything could trigger another nationwide revolt.
Officials and state media are sounding the alarm. Every single day, they are warning about the growing appeal of the main Iranian opposition, the Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK, especially among the youth, as the flip side of the expected nationwide boycott of the elections.
This is the same movement that then Supreme Leader Khomeini wanted to uproot in summer of 1988 by killing all their loyal political prisoners. That explains why this regime needs Raisi, whose entire life has been consumed with killing these same dissidents.
The final showdown has arrived. The ultimate winner in the election farce this Friday will be the Iranian people who have rejected the regime and are vying for a free and democratic republic Iran.