Source: New York Post
Iran’s “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declared it the “religious and patriotic duty” of people to vote in Friday’s elections, demanding a high turnout to strike a victory over “US propaganda” that seeks “to create a division between the Islamic establishment and the people.”
Oops: Looks like this is another election President Trump won.
The regime may report otherwise, but all independent accounts show that Khamenei’s call — and others, like a top presidential adviser’s warning that low turnout would “please Iran’s enemies” — went over like a lead balloon.
Citizen journalists tweeted pictures and videos of empty polling booths Friday; London-based news site Middle East Eye reported that government data showed only “a fifth of registered voters” showing up to cast their ballots.
A correspondent for the UK paper The Independent saw “only relatively small crowds,” commenting on a “subdued and somber” mood among Iranians.
It surely didn’t help that the Khamenei-controlled Council of Guardians kicked 9,000 moderate and reformist candidates off the ballot. That was apparently the only way to ensure the new Parliament didn’t back negotiations to end US sanctions over the regime’s push to build nuclear weapons.
Of course, no election can change the Islamic dictatorship’s power structure — Khamenei, the unelected religious leader, ultimately pulls the strings no matter what. But this public show of no confidence may bring Iran closer to the day when the regime finally falls.