When it comes to the choosing of the candidates to run for election in Iran, it is better to think of the whole process as one big show or dramatic play. While the audience, in this case the Iranian people and the international community, might not know what the final outcome will be, it is clear that the regime already has some idea.
Look at the choosing of the candidates, as it is a prime example of the showmanship of the regime. Using the Guardian Council, which is chosen directly and indirectly by the Supreme Leader, the candidates are vetted to give the appearance that there are two different options available to the Iranian people.
Yet every one of these approved candidates have already been approved by Khamenei himself. In fact, they needed his approval in order to be approved by the Guardian Council and they need to have demonstrated their loyalty to the regime.
“Looking at the candidates’ backgrounds, all of them have been officials of the clerical regime for many years. For example, the two main contenders, Rouhani and Raisi have held senior posts since the inception of the regime. They have been personally engaged in decision making and suppression of the Iranian people,” said Mohammad Mohaddessin, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Recently, two of the presidential candidates have dropped out of the race and the other two candidates have been virtually non-existent in the election process. Clearly, the two frontrunners of this drama have already been chosen and they are current President Hassan Rouhani and Ebrahim Raisi.
“Everything was engineered right from the beginning. The Guardian Council approved six candidates, three from each faction, four of who, right from the beginning were called ‘cover up candidates’, meaning they were not serious contenders, but only meant to make a showcase, mainly for international consumption,” said Mohaddessin.
Clearly, the election has always been between two candidates and their plans to protect the regime moving forward. One believes in some engagement with the West, even if it is mostly an act, while the other faction is to not deviate from the previous policies of the regime, not even in a cosmetic fashion.
“They turned a blind eye to the suppression of the Iranian people. They offered de facto impunity to those responsible for mass executions in Iran…It is long overdue for Western governments and all those who care about the human rights of the Iranian people and global peace and security to put an end to this false notion forever and to side with the Iranian people and their desire for change,” said Mohaddessin.
He pointed out that state run media in Iran have reported on the efforts by the PMO to boycott the election and also to call for the overthrow of the regime. It is the hope of the resistance that the Iranian people will receive the support they need to remove the yoke of the mullahs’ oppressive regime.