Iran Election Result: Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei Lost Gains Made From Gaza Conflict – OpEd


The actual voter turnout in the elections estimated at about 8%.

To scrutinize the election results and uncover the electoral manipulation conducted by the mullahs over forty years, on Friday, March 1st, resistance units linked to the main opposition movement the People’ Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) undertook a comprehensive effort across cities and villages in Iran.

This significant endeavor involved recording videos and audio, making direct observations, and in some cases, intentionally participating in the voting process to gather more detailed information. A total of 1,941 polling stations, large and small, in Tehran and other areas, were monitored continuously from 8:00 am to midnight. These observations revealed that the total number of voters across 1,941 stations was 156,597, averaging 81 voters per station. By extrapolating this average to the 59,000 polling stations nationwide, the total comes to less than 5 million voters. Therefore, compared to the 61 million eligible voters as claimed by the regime’s election officials, the turnout rate was at most 8.2%, including both voluntary and coerced voters.

White Votes

Reports from official sources highlighted the issue of invalid votes. For instance, according to the Jahan-Mana website, on March 2, in a Yazd constituency, the top candidate received 81,634 votes, and the white votes numbered 29,303 ,that is the second place!The same thing happened in Bushehr, southern Iran, where 17,656 invalid votes placed third in the constituency’s election results. Furthermore, the Faraz website questioned whether the number of invalid votes would lead in the capital Tehran’s election results. Prior surveys by government-affiliated organizations predicted a mere 5% voter turnout in Tehran, casting doubt on the election’s legitimacy.

Two days before the elections, on February 28, 2024, the supreme leader Ali Khamenei appealed for votes, likening his plea to that of a beggar. He emphasized the importance of showing the world the nation’s participation in critical moments to “save the country.” He warned that weak electoral participation would be detrimental to all. This rhetoric raises questions about the link between saving the regime and the electoral process.

This election was not the first of its kind in Iran, where the regime has historically manipulated vote counts or excluded unwanted candidates. Yet, what sets this election apart is its critical importance to Khamenei in the context of preserving his regime.

Three Distinct Characteristics

The significance of the election in the context of regime survival can be traced back to the 2022 uprising, which was marked by three distinct characteristics:

1. The regime’s incompetence became glaringly apparent, with no progress towards improving the populace’s economic welfare amidst rampant corruption and or the staggering costs of proxy forces and their interference in the region leading to widespread poverty.

2. The regime’s illegitimacy was thoroughly staged by the Iranian public, The regime’s reliance on repression and external aggression to maintain power was evident, yet the 2022 events showcased a unanimous rejection of its authority.  Originating from the Middle Ages, Iran’s regime has always faced a crisis of legitimacy, and for this reason, since the first day of its coming to power, repression at home and warmongering and terrorism abroad have been used to cover it up. Just as building an atomic bomb is a part of its survival strategy. but in 2022, this illegitimacy was exhibited from all walks of life, from students to workers, professors, doctors, and nurses.

3. The third feature of this uprising was that the demonstrators set fire to the symbols of the regime, such as portraits of Ali Khamenei and Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, and Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Terrorist Force, and attacked the repression centers of the Iranian regime, showing that this regime is in its entirety. They deny themselves.

These three characteristics shows a free-fall for the leaders in the minds of the Iranian people. Since then, Iran’s regime has faced massive losses. So that even in Khamenei’s camp, few people believe in the future of this regime. Even the so-called reformers, always preaching that the ballot box was decisive, saw that elections were nothing more than a mirage.

Khamenei knows that despite the unparalleled repression, the 2022 uprising will continue, but this time in the presence of several thousand resistance units scattered throughout Iran. The resistance units have been able to provide the last element to overthrow the regime with extensive campaigns throughout Iran during this election, as well as extensive operations attacking the regime’s repression and judicial centers .

Resistance units were able to perform more than 400 complex operations within a week. They burned statues of regime’s leaders and targeted repression centers belonging to the Revolutionary Guards and the regime’s judiciary. They managed to boycott the election with their propaganda operations.

Meanwhile Khamenei’s speeches address solely his forces. He is trying with all his strength to bring parts of his forces like the so-called “reformists” to the polls again for this election and therefore tells them if you don’t go to the polls, I will not be the only one eliminated, but you will also be “hit”.

The people of Iran cast their vote in the 2022 uprising. The old slogan of the resistance, “my vote is regime-change,” became widespread. The result of this election once again showed the extreme weakness and illegitimacy of this regime, and its practical result is the flare-up of uprisings. But more importantly, Khamenei lost all his gain from the bloodshed and killing in Gaza.

Hamid Enayat

Hamid Enayat is an Iranian human rights activist and analyst based in Europe.

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