A polling station in Iran on March 1, 2024

Biden Admin Allows Iran to Run Absentee Voting Stations on US Soil

Saturday, 06/22/2024

The Biden administration has once again permitted Iran's government to establish absentee ballot stations across the US for the upcoming Iranian presidential election on June 28.

The decision, first reported by the Voice of America, has sparked outrage among critics who view it as legitimizing the Islamic Republic’s "authoritarian rule".

Alireza Mahmoudi, an official from the Iranian Foreign Ministry, earlier confirmed plans to set up 30 voting locations, including at venues such as the Iranian Interests Section at the Pakistani embassy in Washington DC and a location in New York.

The move comes despite the US State Department’s acknowledgment that Iran’s elections are "neither free nor fair", as it only allows candidates loyal to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to run.

"Preposterous. The concept of a free and fair election under the Islamic Republic is a fallacy," said Iranian-British activist and actress Nazanin Boniadi.

"While regime opponents are advocating for a boycott, the US inexplicably permits absentee ballots for this farce?" she added in reaction to the Biden administration's decision.

The locations for these ballot stations have raised further concerns. In 2021, several US and British hotel properties and Islamic centers were used as polling stations, though there is no confirmation if these venues will be used again.

Critics, including Cameron Khansarinia, vice president of the National Union for Democracy in Iran (NUFDI), argue that those participating in and operating these stations should be “publicly shamed” for their role in supporting what many consider a “sham election”.

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