In the lead-up to the 45th anniversary of the 1979 revolution and the March 1 elections, Iranian officials have escalated their rhetoric, resorting to outrageous statements and unfounded claims.
This surge in exaggeration and falsehoods appears directly correlated with the regime's mounting desperation to achieve its short-term objectives. As the engineered parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections draw near, the regime has intensified its assertions of remarkable achievements, inflated claims of popularity reaching as high as 97 percent, and exaggerated portrayals of economic and scientific advancements.
Mass production of nonsense
During election season, an abundance of superlatives and claims of "firsts" flood the discourse:: Iran is the most independent country in the world, Iran is the first in the production of science, and Iran is the most important global power. Facing a serious economic crisis and lack of popularity, authorities are turning to such statements on a daily basis.
"Today, Iran is among the top 20 countries in the world in terms of economy, and according to statistics, the people of Iran today have good purchasing power," said the Interior Minister.
"More than 97 percent of the people accept the regime and the revolution and will never abandon it," said the Judiciary Minister.
"The people still adhere to the ideals of the regime and the revolution after 45 years," said the Sports Minister.
"Islamic Iran is the most independent country in the world and the whole world accepts this," said the Fars Province governor.
"The Islamic revolution after the Prophet's mission... was the most important event in the history of mankind... the enemies know that no country is as important as Iran," said the deputy commander of IRGC.
These are clear signs of self-aggrandizement, delusion, and living in a self-made bubble in these statements. According to a Goman Institute poll, in response to the question if a free referendum was held today with the inquiry "Islamic Republic: Yes or No?", %75 answered "No to the Islamic Republic" and only 16% said that their answer was positive.
These statements are indicative of self-aggrandizement, delusion, and a detachment from reality. According to a Gamaan Institute poll published on Sunday, when asked in a hypothetical free referendum whether they support the Islamic Republic, 75 percent of respondents answered "No," while only 16 percent expressed support for it.
Heating the election oven
To draw parallels with the 1979 revolution, officials invited people to come to the rooftops on Saturday evening, which was the anniversary of the revolution and chant “Allahu Akbar.” Also, on this night, they set off fireworks all over the country, which met with a cold reaction from the people.
Seizing the moment, many people took to the balconies and behind the windows to shout slogans of the Mahsa movement. Notably, the voices of women and young girls resonated prominently among these chants, underscoring their active participation in the opposition's message.
Despite relentless calls for public participation in the anniversary march, the photos and videos circulated depict a significantly limited turnout. Figures ranging from several thousand to tens of thousands of attendees are exaggerated to portray figures in the millions or tens of millions. But evidently, even the use of Qasem Soleimani’s name to bring out a million people did not succeed.
Waiving the hijab requirement during the anniversary march was a surprising deviation also observed last year during the anniversary of the occupation of the American embassy. This move was even reported by hardline media as a good initiative. Additionally, earlier this month and American adult film actress was allowed to visit the country and tour important landmarks. As the founder of the Islamic Republic Ruhollah Khomeini famously stated, "To protect the regime, even Islamic rulings could be suspended."