The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that for the Iranian regime’s illegitimate presidential elections taking place on 18 June, 592 “candidates” have now, enrolled. The Guardian Council, a 12-member body that vets all applicants, will disqualify the bulk of these “candidates” because they are merely pawns in the regime’s election farce. The Guardian Council’s representatives are either directly appointed by Ali Khamenei, the regime’s supreme leader, or by the regime’s judiciary, whose president is also directly appointed by Khamenei.
Elections under the ayatollahs’ theocratic regime are nothing more than a lie. The regime seeks legitimacy by putting up a democratic illusion, despite the fact that it is well aware that the Iranian people’s true vote is only for regime change.
The regime struggles to nominate “candidates” while maintaining a power balance within its own members.
Following five days of political instability, the regime’s key election candidates signed up on Saturday, 15 May. The main candidates for the role are current judiciary leader Ebrahim Raisi and former Majlis (parliament) speaker Ali Larijani. Both have a long criminal history and were instrumental in the regime’s creation over the last 40 years.
Ebrahim Raisi is best known for his active involvement in the 1988 massacre, which resulted in the execution of over 30,000 political prisoners in a matter of weeks. Raisi was a key member of the infamous “Death Commissions,” a trio of regime officials who summoned political prisoners and sealed their fate in a few-minute trial.
Brig. Ali Larijani of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) established censorship and oppression on state radio and television from the outset of the mullahs’ rule. He served as the IRGC’s deputy joint chief of staff in the 1980s.
Other candidates, such as former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is best known for his active involvement in terror plots against regime opponents, Hassan Khomeini have long been involved in assassination and crimes against humanity, repression, censorship, terrorism, and financial corruption.
To prevent polarisation, Khamenei ruled out the candidacies of current Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and, the grandson of regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini.
However, Larijani’s late registration would add to Khamenei’s problems and portrays his desperate and fragile status. This is all the more relevant when one considers that he declared the presidential election on 18 June the most critical in the regime’s history.
Khamenei is well aware that he cannot disqualify Larijani, who is one of his own advisors and was the Majlis speaker for a period of 12 years. Khamenei is concerned that such a move would exacerbate internal tension within the regime and weaken the regime’s grip on power, potentially leading to widespread protests similar to the post-election demonstrations in 2009.
In the run-up to the elections, the regime has ramped up its repression of Iran’s society.
On 16 May, the state-run Risheh news website quoted regime police chief Hossein Ashtari as warning about demonstrations during the elections and emphasizing the importance of taking action “against election opponents in the streets and on social media, and to deal with these people in accordance with the regime’s laws.”
Alternatively, the state-run daily Arman admitted on 15 May, that public interest for the elections is poor, and that “signs indicate that many, especially the young, are dissatisfied with living conditions, unemployment, social dilemmas, and widespread corruption. They are dissatisfied and unwilling to participate in the elections, and this is confirmed by scientific and impartial polls.”