Hossein Salami, the Commander of the Revolutionary Guards

Iran’s IRGC Chief Urges Voter Participation Amid Anticipated Boycott

Thursday, 02/22/2024

With the Iranian parliamentary elections approaching, officials are urging citizens to actively participate amidst concerns of the lowest voter turnout since the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979.

Hossein Salami, the Commander of the Revolutionary Guards, said, "People should perceive the sensitivity of the situation and come to the ballot boxes to once again demonstrate their impressive presence." He claimed that “elections hold significance beyond casting ballots, due to their global impact", aware of the international reputational damage a major boycott will impose on the regime amid Iran's being a pariah state.

His call for participation coincides with growing frustration among Iranians over what they perceive as the regime's neglect of their demands for greater freedom and economic improvement. Official statistics reveal an inflation rate just below 50 percent, with essential goods, especially food, experiencing even sharper price hikes. 

The aftermath of the severe crackdown on the 2022 nationwide protests has fueled internal dissent, resulting in numerous deaths, injuries, and arrests as social and economic oppression continues at full speed.

Discontent has escalated due to the enforcement of medieval hijab laws, lashings for women, and internet controls by hardline authorities, leading to heightened surveillance of the population.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, recognizing the disqualification of most moderate and reformist candidates by the Guardian Council for the upcoming March election, acknowledges his inability to directly mandate voter participation. Instead, he is relying on officials and institutions to utilize various methods to encourage citizens to engage in the electoral process.

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