When Americans hear the word “election,” they usually associate it with the people having a voice through the ballot. In Iran, that isn’t the case.
What will change after Iran’s presidential election? Absolutely nothing. While a fierce showdown is in the making for the May 19th Iran presidential election, and analysts are weighing the possibilities of the second round on May 26th and the final outcome, there shouldn’t be any hope for any fundamental change.
There will be no dramatic effect on Iran’s economy as the entire apparatus is suffering from rampant corruption. Tehran will not dare abandon the nuclear deal sealed with the international community, knowing snap back sanctions would be literally crippling. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and its conglomerate of proxies will seek to advance their meddling across the Middle East as before. Iran’s ballistic missile program will also be accelerated and rest assured there is no end in sight in regards to human rights violations against the Iranian population.
That’s why despite the mullahs claiming turnouts in the millions, the Iranian people have historically boycotted all their façade “elections” in the past 38 years. Scenes of recent activities posted on the internet by the network of Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) show brave dissidents expressing how this regime does not represent the Iranian people and encouraging the Iranian population to voice their dissent by boycotting the election. This is exactly the entire regime’s Achilles’ heel in these polls.
A video showing supporters of Iranian opposition activities against the sham election inside Iran. The following video, which shows support for Maryam Rajavi, the head of the PMOI/MEK was filmed and sent from inside Iran:
We should not fall for the populists’ promises delivered by the two main candidates, Ebrahim Raisi and the incumbent Hassan Rouhani. Raisi is an influential cleric leading the Astan Quds Razavi foundation overseeing Iran’s holiest religious site.
However, we should not forget how Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the mullahs’ president from 2005 to 2013, claimed to represent the lower class and Iran’s deprived. In recent debates, candidates have shockingly revealed how over $700 billion were wasted by Ahmadinejad’s cabinet, in pursuit of Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions and support for extremist groups across the region busy expanding Tehran’s sphere of influence.
What is very important to understand in Iranian politics is how the position of the presidency is nothing but a marionette and the Supreme Leader pulls its strings. Ali Khamenei has been holding this position for the past three decades and he is known to be the final arbiter on all state matters, including national security and foreign affairs.
The very negotiations leading to the Iran nuclear deal, considered by Rouhani as his signature achievement and main legacy of the past four years, were given a green light by Khamenei back in 2012, prior to Rouhani’s term, through secret talks with the Obama administration hosted by Oman.
The mullahs’ ballistic missile program, considered very controversial and linked very closely to that of North Korea’s, is under Khamenei’s full and complete control, especially through the IRGC.
“…no missile is launched in this country without the authority of the commander-in-chief. Even missile launches in military drills must be approved by the leader… He even specifies the exact timing of the missile launches,” said Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif, head of IRGC Public Relations.
Tehran also understands fully well the importance of its Middle East meddling campaign to the regime’s future and vital to keep all enemies at bay. A recent Arab News piece shed important light in this regard:
Delivering a speech in Arabic, at a graduation ceremony of Shiite clerics in Iraq on Thursday, Asaib Ahl Al-Haq militia commander Qais Al-Khazali said: “The reappearance of Imam Mahdi will mark the completion of the Shiite project. Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Asaib Ahl Al-Haq and the Houthis are working hard to make the ground fertile for Imam Mahdi.”
Al-Khazali was referring to the Shiite belief that Imam Mahdi — the 12th and last Shiite imam who disappeared in the 9th century — will one day appear in order to bring justice to earth.
Asaib Ahl Al-Haq, which Al-Khazali leads, is one of the most violent Shiite militias in Iraq. It is aided and abetted by Iran. Al-Khazali reportedly said: “We’ll continue to work toward our project of a Shiite full moon, not a Shiite crescent as our enemies say.”
And maybe the most important aspect of all is Iran’s dire need to continue its domestic crackdown campaign in order to keep a very important lid on a society very dangerously described as a powder keg, indicating the Iranian people’s utter hatred of the mullahs’ rule.
To this end, whatever Iran’s presidential election outcome, expect no essential, or even non-essential changes for that matter. The only contrast among the candidates of this so-called “election” process is how to more effectively preserve and prolong their regime’s rule, and access a larger share in plundering the country’s riches.