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Iran Election 2021: The November 2019 Uprising And Election Boycott

Iran, IRGC, Iran Protests
Pictures of some martyrs of the nationwide Iran protests in November 2019

As Iran’s sham election draws closer, more people call for boycotting it. They describe participation in the election as “betraying the blood of 1500 martyrs in Iran protests” in November 2019. 

Iran’s November 2019 uprising erupted one day after the authorities increase the fuel price. Protests expanded quickly in the country, and the Iranian regime shut down the internet to suppress the people easier without any news coverage. 

Iran Protests: Nationwide Uprising in Iran- November 2019

 “November 2019, a national wound waiting to heal,” the state-run Hamdeli daily wrote in November 2020. 

“During the first days of the protests, news indicated people attacking governmental centers. Then came the news about security forces who opened fire on protesters leaving some deaths and wounded. Cities of Behbahan and Mahshahr in Khuzestan province were in the spotlight,” Hamdeli added. 

Hamdeli daily then described how many other cities, including the capital, Tehran, were added to the risen cities. “Cell phone internet bandwidth narrowed in the cities of Mashhad and Ahvaz. Simultaneously the internet connection blacked out in the entire country by order of the National Security Council. Security officials tasked closure of schools and universities to control the unrest. The task followed in some cases by the closure of some metro stations.” 

Election boycott by the Iranian people

 “The wound of the November incidents is still open on Iranian people’s body. Yet, no detail and information is published about the bloody days of November 2019, and nobody is shouldering the decisions made at the time. The number of deaths in November 2019 is still unknown. The foreign sources issued different numbers, and the government denied them but refused to declare the exact number,” Hamdeli daily wrote in an article on June 14, 2021. 

Through its sources from inside Iran, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) declared that the regime had killed over 1500 protesters during the uprising in November 2019. Reuters later confirmed the figure, and the PMOI/MEK figure echoed in the Iranian people’s slogans during the protests in Iran; after that, the IRGC downed the Ukrainian airliner. 

As Hamdeli acknowledged, the Iranian people have been suffering from this regime for years, and they neither forget nor forgive the officials. Executions in the 1980s, including the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988, brutal oppressions of an uprising and protests in Iran during the past four decades, and the last one in November 2019, will not be erased from people’s minds. These oppressive measures have turned Iran’s society into a powder keg that will explode very soon. 

The regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has decided to pull Ebrahim Raisi out of the ballot box. Raisi is the henchman of the 1988 massacre. Khamenei stated previously that he seeks a mono-vocalism, calm, and popular election. In June 2009, after the sham presidential election, Khamenei experienced that any disturbance during the election can easily lead to an uprising. Trying to avoid the same fate, Khamenei ousted all Raisi’s rivals through the Guardian Council, including the former speaker of the parliament Ali Larijani, the previous president of the regime Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vice president Eshaq Jahangiri. 

Who is Ebrahim Raisi, a candidate in Iran presidential election and an executioner in 1988 massacre

However, it is a no-win situation for Ali Khamenei. Khamenei must bring Raisi out of ballot boxes to consolidate his dictatorship. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian opposition, described the situation as the final phase of the regime. “Khamenei took steps to consolidate the regime and maximize repression by purging presidential candidates who had participated in all of the regime’s crimes over the past 40 years. This is a clear sign of the regime’s crisis of overthrow and the final phase of the religious, terrorist dictatorship,” Mrs. Rajavi said. 

By selecting a perpetrator of a crime against humanity, Khamenei is about to consolidate the power to confront the coming uprisings that threaten mullahs’ rule. 

Ebrahim Raisi is hated in Iran. He was appointed as a judge to suppress opposition groups after the 1979 revolution while he was 19 and studied until sixth grade. 

In addition to the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran in 1988, Ebrahim Raisi has a hand in the blood of ordinary people. 

On June 15, France 24 wrote that Raisi played a key part in the executions of thousands of opposition prisoners. France 24 referred to the report of seven special UN rapporteurs saying, “Last year, seven special UN rapporteurs told the Iranian government that ‘the situation may amount to crimes against humanity and urged an international probe if Tehran did not show full accountability.” 

Amnesty International came to a similar conclusion in a 2018 report, which identified Raisi as a member of the Tehran “death commission” that secretly sent thousands to their deaths in Evin prison in Tehran and Gohardasht prison in Karaj. 

Yet, Khamenei’s strategy of consolidating power in his regime would fail since the regime has no solution for Iran’s economic and social crises but oppressing people. This would indeed increase people’s hatred toward the regime and result in another uprising.