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Iran Interview: Detained Mehdi Karroubi on "A Rigged and Forced Election Process"

Saham News, the outlet of detained opposition figure Mehdi Karroubi, was able to conduct a short interview with Karroubi's wife Fatemeh, who has also been under strict house arrest since February. Translation by Banooye Sabz:

Given that the vetting process for parliamentary candidates is about to begin, there has been much discussion regarding whether or not reformist candidates should participate in the upcoming elections. In your meetings, did you have an opportunity to ask Mr. Karroubi, former head of the parliament, about his opinion regarding this matter? What can you tell us about his latest condition and circumstances?

As you are aware, Mr Karroubi has been under house arrest for over 300 days. Thanks to the grace of God and the prayers of our nation, my husband is in good spirits, remains strong and determined, sending his warm felt greetings to all our free spirited compatriots.

In response to the first part of your question regarding the upcoming elections, it goes without saying that Mr. Karroubi has little access to independent news and in particular information regarding the elections. His only source of news is the [State] IRIB television station (Seda va Sima) and two other newspapers that he has been allowed to read lately. In my recent visit with him, I informed him that a number of friends and relatives from Tehran and other cities have inquired about his position regarding whether or not reformist candidates should participate in the upcoming elections. My husband responded:


Given what I have heard regarding the positions of the head of the Guardian Council and the Minister of Intelligence and other officials and in particular with what I have seen on the national television station (IRIB), it looks as though they believe that" those who are "the enemies of the revolution and the regime want to use the elections as a pretext to act against the national security of our country". I infer from the above statements that these gentlemen are fully aware of the continued discontent and anger of our people, and as a result they seek to organise a rigged and forced election process in which candidates who do not meet their requirements are disqualified and barred from participating. This will lead to ballot boxes filled with votes that belong to God knows whom.


Their goal is to once again arrest, create fear amongst our citizens, impose a heavy security atmosphere and repeat the tragedies that took place during the Presidential elections in 2009; a process in which candidates will be approved by the Guardian Council based on their positions regarding the supposed "heads of the sedition" and the groups causing the "diversion".

It goes without saying that when the ruling government is reduced to calling the reformists, the Green Movement, and protesting citizens the "diversionary group", their intent is to deceive and I believe that our nation is fully cognizant of these types of tactics.

Even though nothing has happened yet, these gentlemen have already established an electoral campaign to combat election fraud on the orders of the head of the Judiciary. These actions only further prove that these gentlemen have no respect for or belief in the votes of the citizens and have already prepared themselves for a rigged election.


Karroubi sarcastically concluded:


In order to ensure that the reputation of Islam, Islamic scholars and clergy men is not further tarnished and the citizens and political activists sympathetic to the ruling government are not once again harmed, perhaps the few individuals such as [the Supreme Leader's senior advisor] Ali Akbar Velayati and [2009 Presidential candidate] Mohsen Rezaei, who are still acceptable by the establishment (and presented some novel view points during the elections in 2009) should be assigned as spokespersons for [Supreme Leader ally] Gholam Ali Haddad Adel and [Tehran Friday Prayer leader] Ahmad Khatami (who determined that the humble Mousavi was an Enemy of God) and form an Election Council under the supervision of [head of Guardian Council] Ahmad Janati (may he live long).


This Election Council can then appoint representatives that they believe are the true representatives of the nation and in doing so place the ultimate dagger in the corpse of the Islamic Republic, founded in 1979 based on an overwhelming and unprecedented popular vote, so that then, if God willing, our nation finally has an opportunity to implement the provisions in the 1979 Constitution, of course only with amendments that have become necessary over time.


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