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A sanitised “Free World” struggles for credibility

16th Jul 2021
A sanitised “Free World” struggles for credibility

Iran’s Guardianship Council disqualified all credible candidates to give their favoured candidate, Ebrahim Raisi free reign (Credit: Mostafa Meraji/WikiCommons)

The election of Ebrahim Raisi as President of the Islamic Republic of Iran provides a good vantage point to examine the differing worldviews on global affairs.

To give where credit is due, the Islamic Republic has always held elections according to its constitution since its inception with the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Even in the most trying circumstances, the constitutional requirements for election to the various state institutions have been held.

However, over the period there has been a shift in the views on eligibility to stand for elections.

In this aspect, the Guardianship Council has gradually taken a more interventionist position and tries to skew the eligible candidates to reflect the preferences of the conservative establishment of the country.

Initially, after the election of the reformist Sayyid Mohammed Khatami, the Guardianship Council tried to put forward the populist, Mahmood Ahmedinejad. Given Ahmedinejad’s disastrous term, matters came to a head when the 2009 elections were widely believed to be rigged against reformist candidates.

The 2009 protest movement against electoral fraud gave the Guardianship Council a pause for thought and embarked on an experiment to allow some tame reformists to stand.

The election of Hassan Rouhani trouncing the incumbent Ebrahim Raisi with a 75 per cent plus voter turnout gave the conservatives a pause for thought. For the June 2021 elections, the Guardianship Council ruthlessly disqualified all possible credible candidates to give their favoured candidate, Ebrahim Raisi, a free reign.

However, true to its innate genius, the Iranian electorate gave their verdict. Ebrahim Raisi was elected on the lowest turnout of 48.5 per cent; this even included over 3.5 per cent spoilt ballots, this, despite exhortations, edicts, fatwas and rulings from the clerical establishment on the imperative to cast one’s vote.

There is thus a crisis of legitimacy building up which the new leaders of the Islamic Republic will need to face up to.

However, this is not how the “free world” sees the matter. Their favourite regimes in the region made of despots, ethnic cleansing regimes and sundry military dictators are not compared with a constitutional government, albeit with its flaws. Instead, all effort is spent on denigrating the new President of the Islamic Republic.

Towards the end of the western-backed Iraq imposed war on the Islamic Republic, Saddam Hussein let loose the terrorist MKO organisation which he was harbouring to attack Iran and supplied them with arms and ammunition.

This posed mortal danger to a fragile Islamic Republic, and there was a crackdown on participants and supporters of the MKO, which was at that time regarded as a terrorist organisation by the US.

In the trials of this fifth columnists sometimes summary justice was administered, and there was disquiet inside Iran as to the lack of due process for these trials. Ebrahim Raisi was one of the members of the tribunals handling these trials and sentences.

The disquiet inside Iran is quite well documented and led to the side-lining of senior leaders like Ayatullah Hossein Ali Montazeri.

At the same time, the United State- led coalition which invaded Iraq on the false pretext of possession of nuclear weapons sanitised the terrorist MKO and protected them at Camp Ashraf. Even a pliant post-Saddam Iraqi regime could not accommodate this hypocrisy.

The US then engineered these terrorists to be given sanctuary in Albania! The MKO rebranded itself as the National Resistance Council (NCR) and bribed itself into being delisted as a terrorist organisation by the US.

They started to fund and lobby several prominent US politicians to back their terrorist aims. These now form the backbone of the US strategy on Iran.

As fate would have it, soon after the election of Ebrahim Raisi, the news came of the passing away of Donald Rumsfeld.

Rumsfeld, a key architect of the shock and awe barbarity unleashed on the Muslims of the Middle East, is credited with the responsibility of killing over 400,000 people.

Yet he was lauded by the “free press” as a great Secretary of Defence! Only a few brave souls dared to refresh the memory of the public to the gruesome barbarity at Abu Ghuraib prison and the Bagram airbase in Afghanistan.

In order to make sure that this sanitised narrative is not challenged, the US has started to censor all alternative media outlets. It has also seized top-level domains based in the US of entities like Press TV of Iran. It is thus that when discussing with some Iranians about the situation, they come up with a revealing analysis.

They say they have an unenviable choice between being flogged to heaven by theocrats or being bombed to smithereens by the “shock and awe barbarity” of the US-led civilised world.

Mohammed Hassan

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