Prominent Imprisoned Reformist Calls For Boycott of Iran Elections

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Prominent Reformist political figure Mostafa Tajzadeh, who was arrested after the 2009 elections and is currently in Evin prison, has written a letter to the people of Iran, published in full by Norooz News. Tajzadeh, a member of the Reformist group Islamic Iran Participation Front and who served as a minister in for president Mohammad Khatami’s administration, has written numerous letters since his imprisonment.

Of the upcoming presidential elections and the disqualifications by the Guardian Council of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, Esfandiar Rahim Mashei and others, Tajzadeh wrote that “they prepared the path for the victory of the Supreme Leader’s favored candidate.” The controversial disqualification of prominent figures within the Islamic Republic last week was seen by many analysts as a further step in Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s consolidation of power in Iran.

Tajzadeh continued, “Today, with the excuse of confronting “seditionists” and “deviants,” they have taken the largest step of deviation and have turned the Islamic Republic of Iran into the one-man rule of the absolute monarchy leadership.” “Seditionists” and “deviants” are terms used by hard-line officials against the post-2009 election protest’s leaders and those close to Mashaei, respectively. “Leadership of the jurist” is Iran’s current state of government, which believes that a jurist, or cleric, must have leadership over the state and people.

Tajzadeh wrote, “In consideration of what the authoritarian leaders have brought upon the people and the homeland in recent years, it was expected that as an apology to the nation that they would provide free, lawful and competitive elections in order to open the way to improvements and provide an exit out of these horrible present conditions.”

Of the constant slogans about “knowing the enemy” from the leaders of the Iran, Tajzadeh wrote, “In actuality, they’ve shown their deep lack of faith in the vote and will of the great Iranian nation. They’ve shown that they know no nation more lowly and ignorant than the nation of Iran, which they believe does not have the qualifications to participate in free elections. As a result, the authoritarian leaders were obligated according to their own view to protect the system by turning the popular slogan “the vote of the people” into “the vote of the leader.”

“With Rafsanjani’s disqualification, they have displayed their own incompetence and have admitted his popularity with the people,” Tajzadeh wrote. Rafsanjani’s last-minute registration for the presidency and the apparent support of the Reformist groups created a surprising level of excitement in Iran, particularly among those who viewed the increasing tensions with the West as detrimental to the interests of the country.

Tajzadeh continued, “With the stealing of the people’s right to a free election, the authoritarian rulers have left us no choice but to not participate in the unconstitutional and engineered elections.”

Tajzadeh did leave one, albeit highly unlikely, hope for participation in the elections. He wrote, “Of course, with a massive ‘Our Vote Is Rafsanjani’ campaign, we could force the government to reconsider their illegal decision and return our inalienable right to determine our own fate. Even if Rafsanjani enters the race the day before the elections, he will win.”