Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Iranian Resistance, said in a statement this week that regardless of the outcome of the sham elections for the parliament and Assembly of Experts in Iran, the situation for Iranian people will not become better. Ultimately, Rajavi believes that the regime as a whole will weaken, its internal crises will intensify, and the resentment and anger that the Iranian people feel towards the mullah’s corruption will deepen.
Rajavi pointed out that Iran’s clerical regime is founded on a rejection of democratic sovereignty, and that while all of the running candidates for office are loyal to clerical rule, many were disqualified for displaying minor dissent against supreme leader Ali Khamenei. As supreme leader, Khamenei has the highest political authority in Iran, and has the power to disqualify political candidates from running for office should he consider them unworthy. Khamenei’s political filter has given ruling hardliners in Iran massive political leverage, and has made it impossible for Iranian citizens to establish a true democracy.
Khamenei’s power to deny was on full display this election season. Earlier this month, Khamenei infamously disqualified Hassan Khomeini from running for membership in the Assembly of Experts – the arm of the Iranian government that monitors the conduct of the supreme leader. Khomeini is the grandson of previous supreme leader Ruhollah Khomeini, and was popular among Iranian reformists.
As the internal struggle between rival factions and the ruling clerics of the regime heightens, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who many hoped could institute political change, has been submissive to Khamenei’s restrictions, further establishing that despite his rhetoric, he either does not have the will or the strength to create a truly democratic Iran. His inaction has been disappointing to former supporters, particularly women, who feel frustrated by their lack of civil representation.
Maryam Rajavi stressed that whatever the outcome of this election, the strains between the Iranian people and the Iranian regime will only intensify. As whispers of democratic futility and projected low voter turnout grows among Iranians, the Iranian regime pushes harder to facilitate participation in their curated ballot, issuing fatwas to make participation in elections a religious obligation and defining a blank ballot as a direct violation of Sharia law.
Rajavi determined that even if the ruling clerics emerge from the election successful, the hostility that the Iranian people feel towards the mullahs and the mullah’s continued internal struggle to remain in power will ultimately make them weaker, not stronger. The political volatility in Iran in of itself is a loss for the regime.