It’s “election day” in Iran — some 50 million people are eligible to turn out at the polls and cast their ballot for Iran’s next President. But don’t get your hopes up . The game is rigged. The only “vote” that counts is that of the Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s so-called “Supreme Leader.”
The question is: Who does Khamenei want to serve as the “face” of the regime?
- Remember: 686 candidates registered to run for president — but the regime allowed only 8 candidates to actually run.
- In the last few days, two of those eight candidates actually dropped out of the race.
- Thus, Iranians only have six candidates to choose from, all of whom are carefully vetted, loyal to Khamenei, and committed to Iran’s nuclear program.
- There’s no real choice here — but it is interesting to see how far the regime feels it must go to try to make the process seem legitimate.
- Watch for a possible “run off” — if no candidate gets 50%+ of the vote, the top two candidates will face off head-to-head next week. The mullahs sometimes create this scenario to make the election process seem like it’s really democratic, and to give “voters” another chance to choose the “right” person (ie, Khamenei’s real choice).
- Watch to see whether Khamenei chooses someone with far more international diplomatic experience than Ahmadinejad came into office with.
- Watch to see whether Khamenei chooses someone who shares his eschatology and is outspoken about his belief in the coming of the Twelfth Imam, or someone who does not talk about such things and will leave End Times issues to the Supreme Leader alone. [Article worth reading: Iran’s apocalyptic policy makers.]
- Watch to see whether the “green movement” turns out on the streets to protest these rigged elections, and whether the protests — if there are any this time — are enjoined by millions as in 2009, or whether the opposition has been intimidated into keeping quiet.
- Watch for signs of the Ayatollah’s defiance against the U.S. and Israel.
- Watch for signs of what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will do next. He is stepping down after eight years in office. He is legally barred from serving more than two four-year terms. He was Khamenei’s choice in the past because the two share a deep and passionate belief that the Islamic “messiah” known as the Mahdi or the Twelfth Imam is coming at any moment. Together, they made it their mission to prepare the way for the Twelfth Imam’s arrival and for their jihadist ”War of Annihilation” to wipe Israel and the Jewish people “off the map.” Unfortunately for Khamenei, Ahmadinejad was not simply a zealous true believer in the End of Days. He was also a nut who repeatedly embarrassed the Supreme Leader inside Iran and the global stage.
- Watch for public statements and reactions to the sham elections by Israeli leaders, and especially Netanyahu — once the “elections” are over, Netanyahu may be increasingly ready to launch a preemptive strike. At Auschwitz yesterday, he freshly laid the moral imperative of stopping Iran before they can foment another Holocaust. War may be coming soon.
- Let us pray for peace, but be prepared for war.
- Saeed Jalili, Iran’s long-time lead nuclear negotiator, close advisor to Khamenei, hardline opponent of the West, and staunch advocate of Iran’s nuclear program
- Ali-Akbar Velayati, Iran’s former Foreign Minister for sixteen years, a senior advisor to Khamenei on all foreign policy matters, and recently endorsed by a prominent group of mullahs in the religious city of Qom
- Hassan Rowhani, (also spelled “Rouhani”) director of the Strategic Research Center of the Expediency Council who is focusing primarily on improving Iran’s economy
- Mohammad Gharazi, former telecommunications minister
- Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, the current Mayor of Tehran, whom a recent (and rare) poll suggests is extremely popular (though some analyst speculate this could harm his chances of being tapped because Khamenei does not like strong, popular leaders around him)
- Moshen Rezaei, former commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps
Two candidates quit the race this week:
- Mohammad Reza Araf, former Iranian vice president, who was trying to claim the mantle of the reformers.
- Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, an Iranian parliament member.