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Iran Election 2021: Purging Rival Candidates Increases Regime’s Infightings

File photo: fighting in Iran’s regime Parliament

On Tuesday, the Iranian regime’s Guardian Council, by order of the mullahs’ Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, disqualified many candidates for the sham presidential election. Khamenei’s decision to consolidate power by selecting his favorite candidate, Ebrahim Raisi, has increased his regime’s infightings. 

“I have never found the Guardian Council’s decisions this much indefensible, whether in qualifying or disqualifying candidates,” said Sadegh Amoli Larijani, a member of the Guardian Council, whose brother Ali Larijani, the regime’s former parliament speaker, was purged from the regime’s sham elections. 

“The cause of these disturbances is largely due to the growing involvement of the security apparatus in making decisions for the Guardian Council through false reports,” Sadegh Larijani acknowledged on Twitter.   

 Ali Larijani also wrote acknowledged in a statement, “Since the election process is set to be like this, I am satisfied with God’s pleasure.” 

Eshagh Jahangiri, the regime’s current Vice President who is among the disqualified candidates, said: “Disqualifying of many eligible candidates is a serious threat to the participating in the elections.” 

Ali Motahari, the regime’s former MP, said: “I am shocked about Larijani’s disqualification. He has always been loyal to the [regime.].” 

“The whole process of vetting candidates this time was from a security perspective and unjustified, causing a 20-years member of the Guardian Council to react. Sadly, we should say we have passed the time of engineering the election. The election is now truly a selection,” said Mostafa Tajzadeh, a former Deputy Minister of Interior. 

Iranian people to boycott the Iran presidential election in 2021

Javad Nikbin, one of the regime’s MPs from Khamenei’s faction, told candidates: “Some friends and respected candidates say we do not accept the law once they are disqualified. As Imam [Ruhollah Khomeini said], you are wrong. The law doesn’t accept you.” 

On Wednesday, the state-run Jahan-e Sanat daily, while referring to Raisi’s guaranteed presidency, acknowledged Iranian people’s decision to boycott the regime’s sham elections. 

“Iranian citizens considered the 2021 presidential election predetermined and not willing to participate,” Jahan-e Sanat wrote. 

Why Khamenei Purged Rival factions, and what are the consequences?  

Since Khamenei and his regime are facing a restive society, he intends to control possible uprisings by consolidating his power. 

In this regard, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said: “Fearing the regime’s overthrow and the uprising of the army of the unemployed and the hungry, Khamenei paved the way for the elimination of Ebrahim Raisi’s rivals, who is the henchman of the 1988 massacre, the murderer of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI), and one of the worst criminals against humanity in the last 50 years.”  

Mrs. Rajavi underlined that “Disqualifying individuals such as IRGC Brig. Gen. Ali Larijani, the architect of censorship and repression, the speaker of the regime’s parliament for 12 years, and always a part of Khamenei’s inner circle, will render the regime’s power base narrower and more fragile, unprecedentedly aggravate the regime’s infighting, and in turn, accelerate the process of implosion and overthrow of the regime.” 

Khamenei’s policy of contraction will have severe consequences for his regime. Increasing oppressive measures will only add to the society’s restiveness and could result in major uprisings. Purging those who have been engaged in the regime’s export of terrorism and domestic oppression and currently hold top positions in the regime means Khamenei is aware of his regime’s fundamental illegitimacy. The massive purge of the sham election’s candidates also increases the regime’s infightings.