Iranians Set To Elect New President In Contest Marred By Regime Control

(New York, N.Y.) – On Friday, June 18, Iranians will elect a new president to succeed incumbent Hassan Rouhani in a vote that has already been manipulated by the Iranian regime. After Iran’s Guardian Council disqualified hundreds of potential candidates, the current Chief Justice of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, is primed to take office in what could be a stepping-stone to his future succession of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Now 82 years old, Khamenei has hand-picked Raisi for the presidency in an effort to consolidate power in the hands of his ideological allies. Should the hardline cleric be declared the winner from the winnowed field of candidates, it will ensure a continuation and signal a potential escalation of Tehran’s malign behavior.

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI)’s new resource, Eye On Iran’s Presidential Election 2021, analyzes the upcoming Iranian election and outlines the records of each of the candidates on the ballot, including Raisi. UANI’s resource, Ebrahim Raisi: Chief Justice Of Iran, explores Raisi’s decades-long rise within Iran’s judicial system in greater detail, chronicling his role at the forefront of the regime’s systemic human rights abuses.

Within the Iranian electorate, this year’s vote shares strong similarities with the 2005 election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. One of the main parallels is apathy toward Reformists because of an inability or unwillingness by the previous administration to fulfill campaign promises. Far fewer Iranians believe that meaningful reform is even possible after four complete terms totaling 16 years with a reformist or reformist-backed president since 1997 failed to deliver promises like increasing political and social freedoms, or economic opportunity.

As a result, turnout will reportedly be lower than ever as the electorate has lost faith in the ballot box to deliver material improvements. The attempted coronation of Raisi is a cynical attempt by hardliners to take over one of the last remaining power centers within Iran. Having suppressed various protest movements during the Rouhani administration, it appears that Khamenei and his allies no longer feel they need any semblance of popular backing to retain their iron grip on power.

To read UANI’s resource, Eye On Iran’s Presidential Election 2021, please click here.

To read UANI’s resource, Ebrahim Raisi: Chief Justice Of Iran, please click here.