Written by Farnaz Fassihi
Candidates in Iran’s presidential elections have all the time been strictly vetted, and people deemed insufficiently loyal to the Islamic Revolution have been disqualified. Inside these limits, contenders held differing views on easing home restrictions or coping with the West, and typically the victor was even a shock.
Now even minor variations that give voters some semblance of a alternative seem to have been erased.
The candidates within the election scheduled for June 18 both espouse deeply conservative positions aligned with these of the supreme chief, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, or are little recognized, with no voter base and no likelihood to win.
And one candidate particularly is main: Ebrahim Raisi, the present judiciary chief, appointed by Khamenei, who has an extended historical past of involvement in human rights abuses, and who misplaced in 2013 in a shock victory by the outgoing president, Hassan Rouhani.
With no credible challenger, Raisi is anticipated to win this time. Any critical competitors has been winnowed from the race. Even some members of the Revolutionary Guard, recognized for their robust hostility to any political dissent, described the election as anti-democratic.
The Guardian Council, a 12-person physique accountable for approving candidates, disqualified anybody who would possibly shift the vote towards Raisi, who, as a prosecutor and as a decide, has overseen the executions of minors and dissidents.
On Thursday, Khamenei publicly endorsed the Guardian Council’s ultimate resolution. He stated council members had carried out their obligation and known as on the general public to “not hear to anybody saying it’s ineffective, don’t go to the election polls, we gained’t go.”
The council’s resolution and Khamenei’s endorsement of it have rattled political circles. The reformist occasion introduced for the primary time that it has no candidate within the race.
Analysts say Raisi’s presidency would finalize a plan years within the making for conservatives to consolidate energy, take over all branches of the federal government, marginalize any reform faction and severely limit the inner energy fights inside the Islamic Republic.
“At present we’re witnessing an unabashed assault on any semblance of republican rules in favor of absolutely the energy of the supreme chief,” stated Abbas Milani, director of Iranian research at Stanford College.