Erfan Fard

Sham Election: Who’s Next as mullah’s president?

The regime's propaganda; Ali Khamenei, 5/24/2024 / Picture: Radio California. free for all platforms

The words of the late Shah of Iran in his book “Answer to History” still resonate today:

“The ancient nation of Iran (p. 292) has suffered most from this Islamic revolution… grappling with numerous difficulties (p. 295)… in a state of insecurity and chaos (p. 296)… a ridiculous display called voting (p. 297)…These individuals hold the power of life and death over the people of Iran… This regime is a government of darkness, terror, and stagnation (p. 298)… The maniacal thoughts of a bloodthirsty, mad dictator, aided by a few of his accomplices, now govern Iran (p. 300)… My nation is rapidly heading towards the abyss of annihilation (p. 302)….”

As Ebrahim Raisi’s presidency approaches its conclusion, speculation mounts about his successor. In Iran, the so-called elections offer a mere façade of choice, manipulated by the deep-seated powers within a regime characterized by its suppression and control. Here, we delve into the potential candidates, their backgrounds, and the overall electoral landscape as the country heads towards another presidential election or theatre of power on June 28, 2024.

  1. The Usual Suspects: Conservative Frontrunners

Traditional conservatives likely to enter the race include Saeed Jalili and Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf.  Jalili, often viewed as an insignificant player, contrasts sharply with Qalibaf, who, despite being a more prominent figure, faces uncertainty regarding the final consensus of his faction.

  1. The IRGC Guards’ Choices

The IRGC terrorist thugs, a significant force within Iran’s power hierarchy, are expected to support candidates such as Hossein Dehghan and Parviz Fattah. Dehghan is known for his close ties to Russian interests, and Fattah is considered a trusted confidant of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Notably, Rezai, Qalibaf, and Larijani, who are also affiliated with the IRGC, are prominent figures in this context as well.

  1. The Outsiders: Ahmadinejad and Rezaei

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mohsen Rezaei, both familiar names in Iranian politics, seem to have little to no chance of success. Ahmadinejad’s controversial past and apparent fall from grace leave him without endorsement, while Rezaei is consistently met with derision from both the government and the public each time he runs.

  1. The Reformist Dilemma

The Pro-regime Reformist factions within the regime, hoping to sustain their influence, face significant hurdles. Lacking clear support from Khamenei, they remain wary of their involvement in the elections, uncertain of investing in potential candidates who struggle to gain traction.

The picture of potential candidates in Iran – Picture: radio California – free for all platforms.
  1. Religious Authorities in the Race

Mullah figures such as Alireza A’rafi and Mohseni Ejei or Pour Mohammadi might participate, maintaining the theological underpinnings of the regime’s governance. However, their candidacies would likely continue the status quo rather than introduce any reformative changes.

 Farcical Elections: A Foregone Conclusion

In a broader context, these elections are less about choosing a leader and more about showcasing a controlled narrative to the world. The regime’s propaganda machine works overtime to create an illusion of legitimacy and democracy where none exists. Approximately 10-15% of the population, deeply entrenched in archaic and fanatical ideologies, supports this regime. However, the vast majority of Iranians are disillusioned, many advocating for a boycott of what they see as a sham process.

As Iran gears up for another electoral display, the international community, particularly the United States, which faces its elections shortly after, remains skeptical of any real change emanating from Iran’s orchestrated political theatre. The outcome of Iran’s election is predictable—another term filled with oppression and devoid of genuine public representation.


With the approach of the elections, Iran’s populace looks on with a mixture of apathy and resignation, aware that regardless of who emerges as the president, the fundamental nature of their governance will not change. The real question remains not about who will lead, but about when and how the Iranian people can truly reclaim their voice in a system so deeply stacked against them. This is a Farcical Display and Mockery of Democracy in Iran.

Iran has a population of 90 million. If the election participation rate is 40%, this would result in 25 million votes being cast. However, public participation in the ceremonial elections over the past five years has typically ranged from 10 to 15%. This means the actual number of voters would be approximately 9 million to 13.5 million. Nonetheless, given that we are dealing with a regime known for its deceit and fraudulence, there is a significant likelihood that these numbers will be manipulated for propaganda purposes to fabricate a sense of legitimacy.

The dictator of Iran, Khamenei – picture of radio California with filter of AL – free for all platforms
About the Author
Erfan Fard is a counter-terrorism analyst and Middle East Studies researcher based in Washington, DC. He is in Middle Eastern regional security affairs with a particular focus on Iran, Counter terrorism, IRGC, MOIS and Ethnic conflicts in MENA. \He graduated in International Security Studies (London M. University, UK), and in International Relations (CSU-LA), and is fluent in Persian, Kurdish, Arabic and English. Follow him in this twitter account @EQFARD