United States: Iranians denied the right to choose their leaders in a free and fair election.

source: salesground.org

The Joe Biden government lamented the lack of democratic competition in Iran's presidential elections. After elections with dozens of vetted candidates, the regime proclaimed Ebrahim Raisi the winner, sanctioned for his role in the "death commission," which ordered the arrest and torture of thousands of opponents in the late 1980s.

The United States regretted this Saturday that the Iranians could not participate in "a free and fair electoral process" in the presidential elections. "We have seen that the Iranian Interior Minister has announced the victory of Ebrahim Raisí as the winner of the elections that occurred on Friday, but we also note that the Iranians were denied their right to choose their leaders in an electoral process. Free and fair," said a State Department spokesman.

Raisi, who is on the blacklist of Iranian officials sanctioned by Washington for "complicity in serious human rights violations," was an arch-favorite for this election due to the lack of real conflict after the elimination of his chief opponents.

The ultra-conservative won the Iranian presidential election with 62.2% of the votes, which would make him the successor of Hasan Rohani without the need for a second round, as accepted by his rivals. The participation did not reach 50%, one of the lowest in its history.

Many voters chose to stay on the sidelines after the list of some 600 candidates, including 40 women, was narrowed to seven candidates, all of them men, excluding a former president and a former speaker of Parliament. Three of the shortlisted candidates dropped out two days before Friday's vote.

Following the election, the humanitarian NGO Amnesty International has requested an investigation into crimes against humanity against the elected president of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, whom it accuses of participating in the murder, enforced disappearance and torture of political dissidents during his role in the so-called "death commission" during the late 1980s.

Specifically, Amnesty denounces that Raisi participated in a program of extrajudicial executions against thousands of political opponents in the Evin and Gohardasht prisons, near Tehran, in 1988, when the future president and head of the Iranian judiciary were serving as deputy prosecutor of the Iranian capital.

As the head of the Iranian Judiciary, Raisi has presided, according to Amnesty, "growing repression of Human Rights that has led to the arbitrary detention of hundreds of peaceful dissidents, human rights defenders, and members of oppressed minority groups.

Furthermore, and under his supervision, the judiciary has also granted "general immunity" to those responsible for executing hundreds of men, women and children and subjecting thousands of protesters to mass arrests and at least hundreds to enforced disappearances, torture and other evils during and after the nationwide protests of November 2019, the organization accuses.

The fact that Ibrahim Raisi has gone to the presidency instead of investigating crimes against humanity such as murder, disappearance, and disappearance is a very sad reminder that beyond imprisonment in Iran, the organization said in a statement. 

The Secretary General of Amnesty International, Agnès Callamard, regrets in this regard that "the fact that Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for murder against humanity and crimes against violence is a sad reminder of the rule of immunity in Iran.

Furthermore, Callamard regrets that Raisi's arrival to the presidency took place after "an electoral process developed in a highly repressive environment and prohibited women, members of religious minorities and candidates with opposing views from running for public office."

This London-based human rights organization said that Raisi has commanded "a spiral of repression of human rights" as head of Iran's judicial authority in the last two years. According to Amnesty, this has led to the arrest of "hundreds of peaceful dissidents, human rights defenders and members of persecuted minorities."

Under his mandate, the judiciary has also pardoned senior government officials and the security forces responsible for the deaths of hundreds of men, women, and children, he said.

It also accuses him of the "mass arrest of thousands of protesters and the enforced disappearance of hundreds, in addition to torture and ill-treatment" during and after the wave of protests in November 2019.

The figure of Raisi represents the return of Iran to the hard line after eight years of the government of moderate Hasan Rohaní, during which the 2015 nuclear agreement was signed.

However, despite the results of the elections, the US wants to continue with the negotiations that have been held in Vienna in recent weeks to reestablish the nuclear agreement with Iran. We want to continue the significant progress made during the last round of talks in Vienna," the spokesman said.

On Sunday, the seventh round of negotiations aimed at rescuing the 2015 nuclear agreement will be held in Vienna, endangered by the US exit from the pact in 2018 under the government of Donald Trump (2017-2021) and because a year later Iran began to violate some of their commitments.