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HomeIran News NowIran ElectionAmid Post-Election Strife, Iranian Regime’s Supreme Leader Sets Expectations for Masoud Pezeshkian

Amid Post-Election Strife, Iranian Regime’s Supreme Leader Sets Expectations for Masoud Pezeshkian

Three-minute read

This morning, Iranian state television broadcast images of the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, meeting with members of Ebrahim Raisi’s cabinet. In the meeting, presided over by Acting President Mohammad Mokhber, Khamenei used the opportunity to set expectations for the new president-elect Masoud Pezeshkian, and his future administration.

Khamenei extensively praised the slain predecessor Raisi as a role model for his desired “management” stating, “Martyr Raisi was genuinely hopeful and optimistic about the future, firmly determined to achieve the outlined goals.” He added, “Raisi was clear and unwavering in his revolutionary stances. In his first interview, when asked about establishing relations with a certain country, he decisively said no. This clarity was evident in all his actions.”

Khamenei emphasized the importance of recording these traits as a standard for Pezeshkian, saying, “It should be documented as an example that a head of the executive branch can possess and pursue these practical, intellectual, and heartfelt qualities.”

In his remarks, Khamenei also attacked rival factions within the regime, criticizing their lack of commitment and reliability, and contrasting them with what he praised as dedication to involvement in the Iran-Iraq war and foreign operations in Syria and Iraq, framed as “defending the holy shrines.”

Furthermore, Mohammad Sabzi, the Friday prayer leader of Mamounieh and a member of parliament, stressed that any incoming leader must clearly set their differences with anti-revolutionaries and the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (PMOI/MEK). “Our people want a president who is trustworthy,” he said.

Mojtaba Yousefi, another MP, echoed this sentiment, urging, “The fourteenth government must continue to diligently follow the path of Raisi’s administration. Pezeshkian should take the first serious steps to solve the country’s problems by introducing a strong cabinet and act in a way that completes the work of the martyred president.”

Despite the glowing propaganda, Raisi’s presidency is marred by a series of grim statistics and repressive actions. His term saw an acceleration in executions, coupled with a brutal crackdown on unprecedented public protests. Economic indicators also worsened, with the national currency’s value plummeting, the housing crisis deepening, and efforts to bolster the influence of religious seminaries in Iran’s education system.

Meanwhile, the internal power struggle within the faction associated with Khamenei has intensified post-sham election, with various factions blaming each other for their failures.

The state-run website Asr Iran wrote, “From the early hours of the election results announcement, when it became clear that Saeed Jalili had lost, his supporters and those of Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf—the loser of the first round—began clashing on social media, each blaming the other for the defeat.”

Jalil Mohebbi from Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf’s faction wrote, “Write in history that Jalili lost the elections to the reformists twice!”

Citing the victory of Hassan Rouhani over his own faction, Mohammad Saeed Ahadian, an advisor to Ghalibaf, also posted on social media, ‘The 2013 election was repeated, just like that.’

The Farhikhtegan newspaper, associated with Khamenei’s advisor Ali Akbar Velayati, warned, “’Pezeshkian can exacerbate social divides, initiate a new wave of purges under the guise of expert work, widen the gap between the center and the periphery, destroy national governance in cyberspace, and turn ethnic issues into crises. But it all depends on how Masoud Pezeshkian wants to proceed.”

State-run newspaper Sazandegi also stressed, “In the first round, 80% showed that they are opposed and critical of the current conditions. We have moved from external sanctions to internal sanctions. When the head of government cannot solve external issues, internal problems arise. Ultimately, economic pressure, if not leading to social protests, results in civil disobedience, which is turning away from the ballot box.”

Notorious for his duplicity, former president Hassan Rouhani leveraged his congratulatory message to Pezeshkian to subtly challenge Khamenei. While ostensibly congratulating the Supreme Leader on the “election victory,” he signaled his opposition to continuing Raisi’s policies. Rouhani wrote, “In this election, the people showed that they do not want the economic policies and management style that have resulted in the highest inflation rate and the most fragile misery index over the past three years.”