The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that the Iranian regime’s Guardian Council released the final candidate list for the June 18 sham presidential election last month. Only seven people were approved by the 12-member panel responsible for vetting applicants to ensure that they comply with the regime’s supreme leader’s will, despite the fact that approximately 600 people had registered with the Interior Ministry.
Notably, the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei quickly backed the Council’s decision, putting his preferred candidate, Ebrahim Raisi, in a race with six minor personalities. Since then, it has been widely assumed that Raisi will be the regime’s next President. Khamenei, on the other hand, claimed in a speech on Friday that some of the disqualified candidates had been treated unfairly.
“Some candidates were wronged. They were accused of untrue things that were unfortunately spread throughout the internet too. Protecting people’s honor is one of the most important issues. I call on the responsible bodies to restore their honor,” he remarked, alluding to former parliament speaker Ali Larijani, in a televised speech.
In the midst of a mass boycott of the election and approaching protests, Khamenei finds himself more vulnerable. In order to keep the loyalty of his closest allies, including Ali Larijani, who had been disqualified by the Guardian Council, Khamenei made this comment, implying that reports concerning them and their family members were untrue.
Khamenei has made no secret of his preference for Raisi to be the next President in the weeks leading up to the final ballot announcement. Since appointing the legendary hanging judge as to the judiciary chief in 2019, he has made his preference known.
Raisi spent years directing the so-called religious charity Astan-e Quds Razavi before taking over the judiciary. Astan-e Quds Razavi has tremendous financial resources that it frequently uses to promote terrorism and spread misinformation throughout the area and the world. This, too, was a result of Khamenei’s personal appointment.
Raisi has never held an elected position in his career, but he has steadily risen through the ranks of the regime as a reward for his part in repressing dissent and cementing the power structure of the theocratic system.
Raisi was a member of the Tehran “death commission” in 1988, which was responsible for the execution of thousands of political prisoners, the majority of them were members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), Iran’s foremost pro-democracy opposition.
That massacre is thought to have killed over 30,000 people across the country, and Raisi is arguably responsible for the vast majority of them, as well as for continuing to push the same harsh techniques for the next three decades.
Raisi’s appointment as an instrument of Khamenei’s desire to consolidate hard-line authority can be seen as both the source and the result of the regime’s dedication to brutal repression.
The Guardian Council had no doubt about his approval because of his demonstrated commitment to the supreme authority. Following Raisi’s electoral “victory,” the MEK warned of an impending escalation of the regime’s repressive measures.
The MEK has called for a nationwide boycott of the June 18 election. The MEK’s “Resistance Units” have organized marches and posted messages in hundreds of public areas across the country, typically accompanied by photographs of NCRI president-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi and urged people to “vote for regime change” by boycotting the poll.