For many observers of Iranian politics, the latest election showed a crack in the powerful control of Khamenei over the regime. While he unofficially seemed to be backing Raisi, his public comments have also been deeply critical of the current President Hassan Rouhani. With Rouhani’s win in the latest election, Khamenei’s wishes appear to have been thwarted by the Iranian public.
According to Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the mullahs’ regime is divided and has been gravely weakened by its internal power struggle. She believes that Rouhani’s second term would only entail growing crisis and an even more intense power struggle. The heightening power struggle is a reflection of the regime’s strategic failure in resolving the most pressing social problems and growing discontent.
“In the current critical domestic, regional, and international circumstances, for Khamenei it is crucial to make the medieval regime monolithic in order to face the crises and maintain the regime’s balance. Therefore, Khamenei’s failure to manipulate the election result to bring Raisi out of the ballot box and make the regime monolithic is a heavy blow for him and a sign of the regime’s approaching demise,” said Rajavi.
The movement seeking justice for the victims of the massacre has grown and highlighted the role of both factions of the regime in the political executions that sent a shock wave to the entire regime and proved that the people’s desire is for rejection of the entire regime with all its factions. One of the facts that came out of the election is that the regime enjoys the support of only 4% of the population, and the factions within the regime are all competing against each other to gain the upper hand in embezzlement and plunder.
According to Rajavi, the election was wrapped up in one round, because of a fear that the likelihood of an uprising would increase during a second round. One of the slogans bantered around through this election included “No to imposter, no to executioner, my vote is regime’s overthrow”. Along with the deepening rift between the top leadership of the Iranian regime, these factors made it key to wrap up the election fast, even if it meant excepting Rouhani for a second term.
For the Iranian people, this election showed that the regime is struggling to maintain its hold, especially as the people continue to deal with ongoing economic and social injustice in all aspects of their lives.