By Hassan Mahmoudi

Tomorrow, the mullahs in Iran will hold their 12th presidential election. Before you hear what the mainstream media might suggest, let's remember what this is first: The election of Iran's Number Two. The power of the president remains secondary to that of the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, who is an unelected head of state.

Nevertheless, the office of the president is powerful and only the most faithful of the mullahs' loyalists ever reach it. The presidential race is between incumbent President Hassan Rouhani seeking a second term in office, with 3,000 executions during his tenure and Ebrahim Raisi, the candidate closest to Supreme Leader who was part of a tribunal that oversaw the execution of 30,000 political prisoners in summer of 1988. Raisi is also the preferred candidate of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

It's a rigged election, and the winner will be a mullah loyalist, but there is also an authentic opposition that's active.

...the activist network of the main Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI/MEK), has been running an extensive campaign calling on Iranians to boycott the elections. They are putting their lives at risk by draping large images of their leader in exile, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, from bridges and flyovers in cities across the country, amid preparations for tomorrow’s presidential election, which could decide the direction of its future relationship with the West,” as Fox News reported.

 Rajavi the Paris-based NCRI’s president-elect. She recently voiced her views about this new round of presidential elections in Iran, described by many as a game repeated by the regime every four years.

“The upcoming election sham, as it has always been the case, is just a ritual of dividing the power among the factions which make up the ruling religious tyranny. It does not enjoy any legitimacy among the people of Iran. The outcome, whatever it be, is rejected and disdained by the Iranian people and Resistance. In any case, the crisis-riddled clerical regime will emerge weaker and more vulnerable in the wake of this election,” she said.

Iran's presidential election has been denounced widely by dignitaries and members of the European parliament on May 18, 2017.

More than 150 Members of the European Parliament condemned the fake elections in Iran, declaring in a joint statement:

“The elections in Iran are not free and fair. Opposition is banned. All candidates have to declare their heartfelt belief in the concept of supreme clerical rule. An unelected body named the ‘Guardian Council’, whose members are appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei disqualifies most of the candidates.”

European lawmakers have expressed concern about “high number of executions in Iran,”  citing the “more than 3,000 people (who) have been hanged during the first term of the ‘moderate’ President Hassan Rouhani.” They said: “In a public speech on Iranian television, Rouhani described executions as ‘a good law’ and ‘the law of God!’ He also openly expressed full support for [Syrian President Bashar al-]Assad even after the chemical attack in April which killed many people, including children.”

The MEP’s emphasized that Rouhani’s “Justice Minister was a key member of the so-called “Death Committee” that approved the summary mass executions of over 30,000 political prisoners.” Rouhani’s main rival in the elections, Ebrahim Raisi, was also himself a member of that Death Committee. From the young age of eighteen, Raisi was a deputy prosecutor in Tehran and has always maintained top positions in the Iranian judiciary, signing orders of execution for thousands of political opponents… 

In their joint statement, the MEPs concluded: “Any further expansion of relations with Iran must be conditioned to a clear progress on human rights, women’s rights and a halt to executions.”

Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton said in an interview with BBC said:

“In my point of view Iran’s presidential election and the vote-counting is vulnerable to manipulation and fake votes. The election in Iran are not free and fair Khamenei is ultimate decision maker Assembly of Experts a body of religious scholars is an instrument in the hands of Khamenei to select and   qualify the candidates and in my opinion the people of Iran think that the president has been elected previously and their vote is not important”

So tomorrow’s election is nothing but a power struggle between ferocious gangs within the system. In any case, the crisis-riddled clerical regime will emerge weaker and more vulnerable in the wake of this election

Originally appeared in the Americanthinker

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