As Iran’s regime nears its sham parliamentary elections, scheduled for March, the process of purging the key regime figures from running for office has reached a point thateven the regime newspaper Ham-Mihan wrote on January 7, “No news has had as strong a reaction as the disqualification of Seyyed Mahmoud Alavi, the former Minister of Intelligence… How is it possible that the highest-ranking official of the Ministry of Intelligence, who played a role in confirming or disqualifying candidates in the previous elections, is now disqualified and eliminated from the parliamentary elections?”
On January 4, the spokesperson of the Guardian Council announced the disqualification of 26 members of the current Majlis (parliament) and key figures of the regime, another scandal that is trying hard to purge its ranks from officials that are not completely aligned with the vision of its supreme leader Ali Khamenei.
On January 7, the state-run Arman-e Emrooz Daily quoted Ahmad Alireza Bigi, a member of Majlis who was disqualified, as saying, “I have been a commander of the law enforcement forces in various provinces for years, a deputy of the Judiciary, and I have six years of experience as a governor. It is strange to claim that someone like me does not believe in the Islamic Republic.”
On January 5, Khabar Online quoted Jalal Mahmoud Zadeh, another member of Majlis who has been disqualified, as saying, “Currently, the qualifications of over 40% of Sunni representatives in the Majlis have been rejected by the supervisory committee. In other words, we have 16 Sunni representatives in the Majlis, and they have disqualified six of us. Now, I am surprised that I have been a member of Majlis for three terms, and for the past 12 years, I have been the head of the Sunni faction in the Majlis. However, the supervisory committee has disqualified me, citing non-compliance with Islam.”
Khabar Online added, “Mahmoud Zadeh, referring to the government’s influence in the qualification process, said: During the protests, I had discussions, including the impeachment of the Minister of Interior and opposition to the proposed Minister of Industries, Mining, and Trade. These discussions led to my disqualification.”
In a meeting with 50 regime loyalists on January 2, regime president Ebrahim Raisi tried to raise encouragement for participating in the elections. However, it became so scandalous that even the participants in this session described it as a show. Despite the previous announcement, the regime’s television refrained from broadcasting it.
In that session, the politician Mohsen Rafsanjani, said, “It seems that these sessions are more ceremonial rather than practical.”
It appears that Khamenei, who had resorted to warmongering and suppressing uprisings to engineer the electoral process, is now so concerned with these elections that he has been personally appealing three times in recent days to urge people to vote. He said that there are problems, but they can only be resolved by casting their votes.
On December 27, Khamenei asked from a group of women to “encourage their children and spouses to be actively involved in the elections.”
Then, on January 3, 2024, while threatening those who oppose the purged elections, said, “Anyone who opposes the elections is opposing the Islamic Republic, opposing Islam. Elections are a duty. One of today’s tasks is to feel a sense of duty towards the elections.”
But the people of Iran have already cast their votes in multiple rounds of nationwide protests, where they have chanted, “Death to Khamenei,” “Death to Raisi,” and “Death to the oppressor, be it the Shah or the mullahs.” They have made it clear that they will settle for nothing less than regime change and the establishment of a free and democratic republic, where the people choose their true leaders and destiny.