Iran: Why Officials Warn Each Other Over Regime’s Election
Iranian authorities are constantly warning about the extreme sensitivity of the current political situation, using any forum to do so, including Friday Prayers.
In particular, they are asking presidential candidates not to question each other’s credibility.
The constant warnings issued by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and other senior mullahs to candidates and media are indicative of a very special sensitivity in this election.
The warnings essentially convey one message: “be careful, not to trigger the voters’ sensitivities during the campaign because it will be dangerous for the whole system”.
After the second presidential debate on Friday, May 5, Hesam al-Din Ashna, Hassan Rouhani’s cultural adviser explained: “In order to not allow the debates to create shock in society at, Rouhani expressed concern about tranquility and peace in the country”. Such concerns are have also been raised by the supreme leader and other regime’s officials in their own ways. Some said, for instance, “The debates should provide no political anxiety for people” and “the debate should not split people and create hatred.”
As a result the debate actually turned out to be more a show than a real deliberation.
Now the question is why presidential debates in a country should be considered so dangerous?
The incident of May 6th during Hassan Rouhani’s visit to the collapsed mine north of Iran where dozens of miners were killed may be revealing a new reality.
Angry and agonized miners and families of the victims attacked the regime’s president and chanted slogans against him and pounded their fists on his car.
On the same day in Urmia (northwestern Iran), during Rouhani’s speech people chanted “it is a lie, it is a lie”.
What Mohammad Baqher Qalibaf, one of the candidates, said is more indicative of the reality. Qalibaf is constantly talking about the “4 percenters’ ruling”, In other words, he is saying that in Iran only 4% of people support the government. This means that 96 percent of people who are basically hungry and unemployed and disaffected are against the ruling mullahs.
This is where the regime officials’ fear of the people and their non-stop warnings originate from.