Iran: Sham Election

NCRI - Despite all the restrictions on internet in Iran, in the run up to sham presidential elections, Iranian youth have found ways to circumvent these restrictions and social networks are filled with remarks questioning the integrity of the elections. This has angered the regime officials who continually express anxiety about it. Almost no day passes by without giving notices and warnings in this regard and large-scale arrest of social network managers are widely reported.

These activities clearly unveil the hollowness of the election show and simultaneously expose the criminal records of all presidential candidates and the supreme leader’s ominous plans. The popular slogan that declares, “Iranian people’s vote is to overthrow of the regime” has been widely seen on social networks. PMOI supporters have an active role in these online campaigns, who are also involved in hanging banners reading “No to sham elections” or pictures of Maryam Rajavi in the streets of Tehran and number of other cities.

A glimpse at users’ posts in Twitter and Telegram (since the regime cannot control them, they are more popular inside Iran) and their reflection on Twitter networks of Iranian expats in the Twitter space provides a better picture of what has caused the regime anger.

In Social media, the record of Ebrahim Raisi (favorite candidate by the faction affiliated to the regime’s Supreme Leader Khamenei) in killings and especially the massacre of 1988 is widely distributed, but users have at the same time criticized Hassan Rouhani asking him where he was in 1988 during mass executions. Some also mentioned Rouhani’s calls for more executions and repression in Friday prayers… and have attached newspaper cuttings.

Some of the remarks in social media include: “My vote is regime change”, “death to the principle of velayat-e faqih”, or mocking Rouhani where he said, "We have a country and all Iranian citizens must have equal rights", by saying “Such as the legitimate right of one execution every 8 hour”. Another user has written about Raisi: “What happened in the summer of 1988? Why the record of one month is missing from your campaign record?” Or distribution of calls of some personalities like Mr. Mohammad Maleki, the first Tehran University Chancellor after the fall of the Shah's regime who has been in prison and under torture for many years in the mullahs’ regime. He said: “We don’t have elections in Iran, we have selections”, and “I don’t participate in the election as I don’t see any election”.

Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988, most of whom PMOI members, and Raisi’s role as one of the members of the Death Commission, as well as Rouhani’s calls for large scale public executions, is covered extensively on social networks. Raisi’s campaign has defended the massacre against these disclosures and said it was necessary to protect the regime. But Rouhani has maintained silence against the question of “Where were you in 1988?” or the newspaper clips where he called for “execution of conspirators in the Friday prayers".