Socialist Worker

US drives up pressure on Iran after election

Iran’s presidential election has the US and Israel rallying their allies in the Middle East, reports Nick Clark

Issue No. 2760

Newly-elected Iranian president and ‘hardliner’ Ebrahim Raisi

Newly-elected Iranian president and ‘hardliner’ Ebrahim Raisi (Pic: Wikicommons/ Meghdad Madadi)


The US and its warmonger ally Israel want to use the results of a presidential election in Iran to stamp their control on the Middle East.

Conservative judge Ebrahim Raisi was elected president on Friday of last week.

The US and its allies have seized on the election result, pointing to Raisi’s bloody history of repression.

Raisi was part of a committee of judges who sent thousands of opponents of the regime to their deaths in 1988.

These included members of the US-backed Mujahideen-e Khalq—an armed group which attacked Iran—but also members of left wing organisations.

The turnout in the election—between 43 and 48 percent—was the lowest in the history of Iran’s Islamic Republic, which was ­established in 1979.

At least 4 million people spoiled their ballot papers rather than vote for any of the approved candidates.

Ruling

It’s a reflection of dissatisfaction among ordinary people with all of Iran’s ruling elites.

A series of crises have eroded trust and support for Iran’s rulers.

These include economic crises and rising prices, fuelled by sanctions imposed on Iran by the West but also by corruption, austerity and free market reforms.

Iran’s government also struggled to contain coronavirus outbreaks in the early months of the pandemic. And there was widespread anger early in 2020 after the state shot down a civilian airliner then lied about it.

Recent waves of mass protests against the government have been met with brutal repression.

Following the result, a ­spokesperson from the US state department said, “Iranians were denied their right to choose their own leaders in a free and fair ­electoral process.”

And Israel’s right wing prime minister Naftali Bennett branded Iran a “regime of hangmen.”

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They also say Iran’s election ­process—where candidates have to be approved by the unelected Guardian Council of clerics—denied Iranians a real choice.

They are hypocrites. The US and Israel support and cooperate with many equally brutal regimes in the Middle East, including dictatorships with far less democracy than Iran.

Their real problem is that Raisi is a “hardliner”. He is more opposed to making deals with the West than “reformists”, such as previous ­president Hassan Rouhani.

Currently the US is trying to revive a deal that allows it to limit Iran’s development of nuclear technology in return for ending sanctions. But Israel is opposed to the deal.

The US is also trying to strengthen military alliances against Iran among its allies in the Middle East. So it is no friend of ordinary Iranian people.

Raisi received nearly 18 million votes—more than the 16 million he got in the 2017 presidential election. It’s a sign that many Iranians still support confronting the US.

They know the US is ­responsible for decades of coups, ­dictatorships and wars that have inflicted ­suffering on ordinary people.


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