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Iran's Elections: Creating the illusion of democracy

By Goesta Groenroos  Posted by Goesta Groenroos (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   28 comments
Message Goesta Groenroos

In the past, media coverage of elections in Iran has mostly been geared towards the process and the results giving the impression that the Islamic Republic was a kind of democracy. At last, the reality has paved its way to the head lines. The reality is that all elections in this country in fact are, and have been, cheap shams and masquerades put together by a few unelected clerics running the country in order to accomplish two objectives:  to disarm growing demands by the Iranian people as well as the international community for establishing democratic rule in Iran, and to purge unwanted elements of in the power structure.

Therefore, no democratic minded person should use the term "parliamentary elections" for the attempts of the clerics to legitimize their never-ending greed for power. In fact, the real power has always remained firmly in the hands of the clerics, led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Ayatollah Khomeini’s successor as the Supreme Leader. 

Prior to the recent election, in an attempt to weed out prominent candidates of the rival parties, the Guardian Council, the vetting body controlled by the Supreme Leader, disqualified hordes of conservative candidates who were not in line with Khamenei’s hard-line policies in order to pave the way for pro-Khamenei conservative candidates to be able to move into parliament. 

Most disqualified applicants are prominent figures of this regime and by no means could be considered opposition or reformist. In particular, four former ministers, thirty former deputy ministers, and ten former governors were among them. 

Mrs. Rajavi, the president elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, emphasized that Friday’s election show, aimed at purging rival factions, was a sign of a regime in its demise. She added that Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, with their widespread vote-rigging which they called "electoral engineering," were trying to cleanse future Majlis from their adversaries. This was in hope of obtaining nuclear weapons, devouring Iraq and exporting terrorism and fundamentalism to the region without an internal obstacle, and to prepare for a stand-off with the international community. 

To reach its ultimate objectives, the regime has long declared war on the Iranian people, intensifying it in 2005 when Ahmadinejad took office, by increasing executions, stoning, cracking down on student organizations, and shutting down media including a number of its own state-run dailies.  The number of executions for the first two months of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007 is 59 to 47.  Execution of miners, stoning, flogging and political arrests are soaring. 

The clerical regime has also declared war on the West by intensifying its drive to acquire nuclear weapons, through its violent meddling in Iraq, and by promulgating its backward-thinking ideology throughout the world.  

The ayatollahs' regime has neither the political nor ideological capacity to change the course of its rogue behavior at home or abroad. Incapable of satisfying the pre-requisites to emerge from isolation, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei views the appalling suppression at home coupled with escalation of terrorism in Iraq and beyond, as well as the acceleration of the nuclear weapons program, as his only option to survive.  

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Researcher in philosophy at Stockholm University and an expert on Iran
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