Khamenei loyalists may tighten grip at Iran elections 1

Khamenei loyalists may tighten grip at Iran elections


DUBAI- Hardliners are set to tighten control of Iran this week in a parliamentary election stacked in their favor, as the leadership closes ranks in a deepening confrontation with Washington.

The big gain from the security hawks will confirm the political demise of the country’s pragmatic politicians, weakening the country’s political status as the Washington decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear agreement and to impose sanctions for reconciliation with the West.

Those who get more difficult seats in the vote on February 21 can get a different price range for the 2021 presidential election, a task that has extensive control over the daily control of the government.

Such a powerful authority will open an era in which the elite revolutionary guards, omnipresent in national life, have an increasing influence on political, social and economic affairs.

Allies of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ensure that hardliners dominate the field, exempt moderate and prominent conservatives and allow voters to be loyal to his hardliners and low-key Choose among conservative candidates.

“Literally, this is no longer a race. Hardliners want to become president. An official who spoke about the condition of anonymity said that this is the end of at least a decade of moderation.

Like hardliners, conservatives support theocratic politics in power, but unlike them, they support more contact with the outside world.

Faced with helpless choices in an economy facing US President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” on Iran, many voters can focus on bread and butter.

Iran is facing increasing threats of isolation and conflict with the US nuclear stalemate and domestic dissatisfaction is increasing, so the turnout is seen as a referendum on the agency, which is a potential risk for the authorities.

Revolutionary guard power

Many Iranians are outraged by the November protests against rising fuel prices, which prompted protesters to become political and called for “regime change”, leading to the bloodiest unrest in the history of the Islamic Republic.

Human rights groups say that the crackdown, under the supervision of the Revolutionary Guard, killed hundreds of people and led to thousands of people.

The public was also killed in an accidental shooting of a Ukrainian aircraft in January, killing all 176 people, mostly Iranians, on board. After a few days of denial, Tehran acknowledged that the guards had to be sentenced.

However, people familiar with the case have said that the loyal candidate of Khamenei has the support of the main supporters of the agency, who identify in every way with the life of the Islamic Republic.

“Their supporters believe in this institution, and they vote because they consider it a religious obligation. Hardliners will benefit from a low turnout,” officials said.

In an interview with Reuters, some authoritative sources predicted that voter turnout for 290 seats was around 60%, compared to 62% and 66% in 2016 and 2012 respectively. Around 58 million of the 83 million Iranians are eligible to vote .

“Iran is not just a big city politically motivated by Tehran or other big voters. People vote in small towns, villages and entire rural areas.

Without independent, reliable opinion polls in Iran, it is difficult to determine the direction of the vote, let alone the extent to which Khamenei and the guards have influenced the vote to consolidate power control.

But voters who support the reform are frustrated by the chaos of the camp and the pragmatic President Hassan Rouhani who fails to deliver on election promises to ease social and political restrictions.

A former reform official said, “Many Iranians (voting for Rouhani) have lost hope of reform.” “They no longer believe in the reform movement. They want change, only change.”

A strict parliament can put pressure on Rohani, the founder of the nuclear agreement, who has been criticized for his actions by the influential allies of Khamenei.

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