The Iranian presidential elections are due to take place later this month. Described by many as a “sham”, the elections are not democratic and they are not fair. The Iranian regime is going through some of the worst crises it has ever faced and the elections will make the situation even worse. 

The recent social, economic, political and international crises have taken their toll and left the regime weak and fractured. 

In a conference hosted by the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) Foreign Affairs committee, its chairman Mohammad Mohaddessin and former Foreign Minister of Italy, Ambassador Giulio Terzi, spoke about their thoughts on the elections. 

Ambassador Terzi said that the Iranian regime has been unable to improve the economic and social issues of the country following the Iran nuclear deal. He also emphasised that it is against the West’s “imperatives and objectives” to economically collaborate with the Islamic Republic. He said that such a collaboration would be a ticket for Iran to strengthen its support for terrorist activities in the Middle East. He also emphasised that it would strengthen the position of the IRGC. 

Ambassador Terzi said that the West would be terribly misguided to believe that the outcome of the Iranian elections will bring a shift to Tehran’s policies. 

Mr. Mohaddessin agreed and said that the system of absolute rule for the clergy (the velayat-e-faqih system) means that any president of the country will have limited power. It is the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei that really has the final say on everything. Closely followed by the IRGC. 

He emphasised: “Elections in the clerical regime is power sharing between various factions of the brutal regime. It is also about various factions’ share in plundering the Iranian people’s wealth.” 

All factions of the Iranian regime agree on the main policies – that is, suppression of the Iranian people, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the export of terrorism and fundamentalism. 

The two leading candidates in the elections are current president Hassan Rouhani and Ibrahim Raisi who has a horrifying past. 

Mohaddessin indicated that Raisi is a cruel and brutal candidate because of his involvement in the 1988 massacre that saw the execution of 30,000 political prisoners. He also pointed out that Rouhani was involved in the suppression of people during the 2009 uprising where more than 3,000 people were executed. He also pointed to Rouhani’s support of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad. 

Ambassador Terzi warned that there is no such thing as moderates and hardliners in Iran, contrary to what Iran and other governments claim. 

The Supreme Leader will ultimately be the one who decides who becomes president via “engineering of the election”. Mohaddessin said that “the choices for Khamenei are between the worse and the worse of the worse”. He added: “This is the reality that Khamenei has to deal with. This is a totally new situation and new prospects and brings the regime closer to its downfall.”