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Arezou Saaberi
Arezou Saaberi
There comes a time in life when you have to choose whether to turn the page or to close the book!


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Elections in Iran – and not just the upcoming presidential election, but all the elections that have been held since February 1979; in particular, the first of them, the referendum of the Islamic Republic, in April 1979, after Khomeini became the “Imam”, the revolutionary courts were set up and the execution machine was working with full speed and brutality, the officials of the “former regime” were being murdered in corridors of courts, backs of schools and streets of the city, after there was nothing left of the “former regime” to be put to a “referendum” and the Islamic Republic was flourishing in the flowing blood and madness; on the “referendum election ballots” in Nasta’liq script, “Change of the former regime to the Islamic Republic” was printed in Syedi green (allegedly, Shia Imams wore green turbans) with “Yes” and “No” in Shimri red (Shimr was the person in Shia stories who beheaded Hossein, the third Imam, wearing red turban) and handed over to the people, that is, when “election” no longer mattered and “change” had no possibility – yes, the elections in Iran are not a political tool for change, but are a trick for stabilization and continuity, and will be on 18 June.

The famous phrase “If elections were to change anything, they would be forbidden” has become a historical fact about the Islamic Republic. The regime is designed in such a way that everything that has the potential to change (Guardian Council, Velayat-e-Faqih, Chief of Judiciary…) is appointed and non-elected and everything that is put to elections (President, Experts Council, Islamic Consultative Assembly…) has been emptied of the power of change, and have become ridiculously like a circus. Two days ago, on Tuesday, June 8, Ali Rabiee, the spokesman for Rouhani’s government, announced: “Iran’s nuclear policy will not change with a change of government.” Nuclear policy is not the only policy that is outside the scope of the government and its powers and changes. “Foreign policy” in general, according to Ali Khamenei, “is not determined by the Foreign Ministry.” The armed forces (including army, IRGC, Basij, repression units, and the militias inside and outside the country) are completely outside government control and therefore do not change with change of government. The list of “immutable” government institutions, organizations and apparatuses is very long. Even the “Ministry of Intelligence”, which ostensibly forms part of the government, is, in the words of former minister Haidar Moslehi, “the ministry of the system, not the ministry of the administration.”

Elections in Iran are an opportunity to stabilize the system and eliminate the possibility of change. This fact has become dark, bitter, but clear to the majority of Iranians today. The results of surveys on the turnout in the upcoming elections, while confirming the political bankruptcy of the system in gaining the trust of the people, show another fact: this time not voting, is not out of passivity and indifference, not only out of despair, not out of “coldness of Elections scene”, but is formed as an active, conscious and civil protest: Boycott! And it seems that the voice of this action has reached the observers and media outside Iran, too. “Only the West still believes in this fairy tale,” writes Markus Wagner, an Austrian researcher, in an article entitled “Election 2021: The Western Illusion of ‘Hardliners’ and ‘Moderates’ in Iran” with unequivocal and rare clarity in the German-language media. “In Rouhani’s “reformist” government, the persecution and execution of dissidents, as well as Israel’s threat of annihilation, were commonplace, as was with his former colleague, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; as well as Mohammad Khatami, another “moderate” politician who during his presidency executed journalists and opponents of the regime and openly supported the French denialist of the Holocaust, Roger Garaudy. […] Chants and slogans against the Islamic Republic regime for overthrowing it during street protests are no longer rare. Given these events, it is very strange that observers and analysts of the Iranian presidential election are still looking hopefully at the “moderate” and “reformist” forces, hoping for fundamental changes […] According to opinion polls, turnout will be low this time around, as confirmed by the relatively small number of registered presidential candidates, which on the one hand, could be due to the country’s poor economic situation and coronavirus pandemic. On the other hand, the opposition in Iran, without a doubt, is fully aware of what has become an expression of criticism of the government in the West: If elections were to change anything, they would be forbidden- especially in Iran.”

The boycott of the elections in the current situation of the Islamic Republic will deal a heavy blow to the pillars of the system, and Kadkhodai, the regime’s Guardian Council Spokesman, should have postponed his comment on the consequences of non-participation in the June 18 sham “elections” until after the blow. He said, “low turnout would not invalidate the legitimacy of the elections.” He should have waited to see if his sacred system was still standing then, or struggling while in free fall.

Translation of this post by Sahar.

Iranians Boycott Elections: Blow to the Totality of the Regime