For a regime that claims to follow the tenets of Islam, the
Iranian government casts the official state religion in a poor light by running
parliamentary elections on a Friday , the weekly day of worship for faithful
Moslems, a decision based upon the ends justifying the coercive and corrupt
With regard to coercion, reformist candidacies were nonexistent.
True political opposition has been suppressed by force and intimidation.
Opposition leaders have been jailed on trumped up charges for the de facto
"crime" of rejecting the status quo. Other reform candidates were disqualified
from running on spurious grounds.
This left two hard-line factions jockeying for power, those who
favor Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and those allied with President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It is a non-choice between competitors who do not respect
human rights and are intent on creating a nuclear armed regime that intends to
wipe Israel off the planet.
With President Ahmadinejad's power waning as a lame duck who
cannot seek reelection in 2013, the key message to take from these
parliamentary elections is the consolidation of power by Supreme Leader
Khamenei by any means necessary, including a sham voting franchise.
They say there is no honor among thieves, and the same can be said
between the rival hardliners jousting for parliament seats. Reported corruption
includes buying votes with cell phone SIM cards and even gold coins.
The regime is also inflating voter turnout numbers to justify its
existence and to send a message to the international community that continues
to impose sanctions upon it. In addition to those who cannot vote because of
imprisonment or government-sanctioned murder in recent years, countless others
are boycotting the sham elections.
It is also interesting to note certain media being manipulated by
the regime to spin the election in a favorable light, including pictures
showing women casting their ballots. Such photos bring to mind the gender
discrimination inherent in such theocracies.
First, the women are clad from head-to-toe in regime-approved
attire. To wear anything else would be to risk imprisonment, beatings, rapes,
canings, and stoning. Second, does anyone truly think these women voters have
the freedom to vote their consciences or even dissent by refusing to vote in a
The international community should not consider the voting that
occurred to be a step towards reform, a respect for fundamental human rights,
or a change of heart by those in power. To the contrary, the sham elections
subvert the rule of law by putting illusory clothes of ersatz legitimacy upon
the ethically naked tyrants who oppress the Iranian people through brute force
and manipulation of Islamic tenets. Someone
should tell them - when the emperor has no clothes, all the world can still
ends in Iran's parliamentary polls; UK says elections not free and fair,
Al Arabiya News (Mar. 2, 2012)
call for Iran to stand against 'arrogant powers' in election,
UK Telegraph (Mar. 2, 2012)
Ends in Iran's Parliamentary Elections, VOA (Mar. 2, 2012)
seen bolstering Khamenei's power, Gulf News (Mar. 3, 2012)