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Iran Election 2021: State Media Warn About Consequences of Nationwide Boycott

Iran’s sham presidential election ended on Friday, June 19. The Iranian people boycotted the election farce, showing their desire for regime change. The voter turnout was so low that despite presenting engineered statistics, even the state-run media acknowledged it.  

The state-run media also underlined that the nationwide boycott of the regime’s election farce shows the society’s restiveness. According to reports tallied by the Iranian opposition, less than 10% of eligible voters participated in the regime’s sham election. Many of these individuals, such as soldiers and government employees, were forced to vote.  

“One of the interesting points of this election is the non-participation of about 30 million people and about four million invalid votes. So, the records of non-participation in this election and invalid votes have been broken. In other words, about 58% did not participate in the elections, which is the lowest turnout in all post-revolution elections,” wrote the state-run Hamdeli daily on June 22, 2021.  

As forecasted, the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, selected his preferred candidate Ebrahim Raisi. Khamenei chose Raisi to consolidate his regime. Earlier in February 2020, Khamenei had prevented the rival faction’s candidates from running for the parliamentary elections as a part of his plan to consolidate power in his regime to face Iran’s restive society.  

Iran Election 2021: Empty Polling Stations Across the Country (Compilation vol.1)

“The level of public dissatisfaction is high and social capital is declining. Do not let the consolidating of power lead to the elimination of the public. [People] would once again show their power, and this time they may do so more devastatingly,” the state-run Mardom Salari-e daily warned on Monday, June 22, 2021.  

“Certainly, economic problems have increased the distance between people and the system. Creating various social limits and unnecessary strictness, particularly in dealing with youth, widespread corruption and embezzlement, and tensions with other countries takes people’s patience. Sometimes people become violent,” Etemad daily wrote, acknowledging some reasons for people’s hatred toward the regime.   

Etemad also underlines that people no longer tolerate the regime’s oppressive measures.   

“The [Ukrainian] airliner is downed, but no official comes to TV apologizing people and resign. The 2018 and 2019 [uprisings] happen with a lot of violence. Everyone accepts that increasing the fuel price was wrong, but [officials] blame youth for coming on the streets and chanting slogans, whether under the enemies’ influence or not. Nearly all relatives of officials are living abroad, mainly in the United States, yet people keep hearing ‘death to America’ slogans,” Etemad daily adds.   

People boycotted the regime’s sham election while Khamenei and other mullahs called participation in the election a “religious duty” and begged people to participate.  

“It seems that we are facing the phenomenon of non-participation in the elections. In the third debate, Raisi argued that power abroad comes from domestic power. Is the 58% non-participation in parliamentary and presidential elections a sign of power?” wrote the state-run Hamdeli daily on Monday.  

“The ruling system should analyze that why despite the supreme leader and high-ranking clerics call that participation in the election is a religious duty, about 58% either did not participate or cast invalid votes?” Hamdeli adds.  

“We should see the reality. We should admit people boycotted the ballot box, and we should understand its message,” Hamdeli article continues.  

“People’s frustration with the ballot box can have dire consequences. The government must understand the consequences of this frustration,” Hamdeli warned.  

“Ignoring the tens of millions of Iranians who did not vote or cast invalid votes is a major strategic mistake that, if sustained, could have irreparable consequences and even jeopardize the survival of the regime. The [regime] should either hear the message of this silent protest or wait for the consequences of people’s boycott of the ballot box,” Hamdeli article continues warning the regime.  

Before the regime’s sham presidential election, Iran’s main opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), started a nationwide campaign calling for an election boycott. The MEK’s Resistance Units carried out hundreds of activities across Iran, popularizing the election boycott campaign and calls for regime change. The MEK’s role in mobilizing society has terrified the regime and its officials.  

Iranian opposition PMOI/MEK Resistance Units call for Iran Election Boycott — May 2021

“Officials should hear those who did not participate in the election. This is alarm should be heard. When [regime officials and] institutions become ineffective, the [opposition] group and media abroad, supported by the enemy, become effective,” Hamdeli daily wrote in this regard on June 22.