By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
Millions of Iranians will head to the polls on Friday to choose their new president in an election being closely watched by the world community due to the consequences at play for the country’s domestic policy, nuclear deal, and oil supply.
As it currently stands, all candidates have vowed to continue abiding by the nuclear deal (JCPOA), including incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, and his main contender the principlist cleric Ibrahim Raisi. The economy has been the hot-button topic of the electoral campaign though, with candidates attempting to stir voter disgruntlement with the current administration through finger pointing over widespread alleged corruption and an economic rebound since the lifting of sanctions which has disappointed many.
So unlike what fakestream media in the West would like to suggest, the vote will have profound consequences not just for Iran but for the region. It will prove decisive in shaping the balance of power, the ongoing war on terror in Iraq and Syria, the future selection of Iran’s leadership, and the longevity of the nuclear deal. That’s why the May 19 vote should not be disregarded or dismissed as "mere window-dressing.”
Despite some shortages, Iran’s electoral exercises provide important barometers on political trends and have always served as critical junctures in the life-cycle of the system, which is both Islamic and democratic. Here in religious democracy, religious values play a key role in public arena in a society which is populated by religious people. It is an example of how democratic values could exist in a different cultural elaboration than what is usually known in the West.
Everything considered, the Friday vote in principal will turn out to be yet another colossal contest between the Iranian nation and their enemies who have erroneously assumed that after 37 years of frustration there is still some chance for their so-called regime change in Iran that could serve their illegitimate interests. They must take note of the fact that the only winner of the polls is the Iranian nation that will once again pass the difficult test of demonstrating national unity and Islamic solidarity in the face of foreign threats and conspiracies.
More so, the Friday vote is set to shape the country’s future for a generation - potentially even more so than the previous elections. Even Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has acknowledged the stakes are high. He has warned that anyone trying to foment unrest around the presidential election "will definitely be slapped in the face.”
Ayatollah Khamenei’s comments came as the country’s intelligence minister said his agents already disrupted several plots to cause disruptions.
This all speaks to one of the most common misconceptions about Iran, that it has no democracy to speak of. Quite the contrary, this is a place where politics and elections make a lot of difference to the nation, to the region, and to the world. Any doubters should watch this Friday vote, which is the closest that popular will and internal politics can ever come to shaping the country and its future.