The Iranian authorities say that a massive participation in the parliamentary elections tomorrow, Friday, will strengthen Iran against the United States, in a last attempt to dispel doubts and apathy on the part of the population.
Almost 58 million people have the right to vote in Iran to elect the 290 members of Parliament, dominated in the last legislature by the reformists and moderates, but that could happen on the occasion of the conservatives.
The usual strength of the resistance against the US It has been used in recent days by most of the political, military and religious leaders of the country, including the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, and the president, Hasan Rohaní.
"Participating in the elections annuls many of the vicious plots of the US and the Zionist regime against Iran "Khamenei stressed in a speech this week, in which he said that going to the polls "is not only a national and revolutionary responsibility but also a religious duty."
A great participation
Rohaní also insisted yesterday that Iran must "with resistance and strength achieve a victory against the US and that massive participation on February 21 will anger the US."
For his part, the chief of the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Mohamad Baqerí, denounced that "the enemies of the Iranian nation have adopted a strategy to persuade to citizens not going to the polls and lose hope in the future. "
The elections coincide with a growing isolation and distancing of Iran from the West marked by tensions with the US. and breaches of the 2015 nuclear agreement, so that participation it will be a barometer to check the support from the population to the theocratic system policies.
Thousands of citizens expressed criticism against the system last November, during some protests crushed by the authorities They showed a deep internal discontent, influenced by the battered economic situation.
"I don't expect anything because I know that the next Parliament will be like the previous ones. A number of people come and make promises and, after four years, say they have done certain things, but the citizen sees nothing tangible", he told Efe Vahid Nurvatan, a 40-year-old private sector worker.
The majority of citizens, from different social and professional strata, consulted by Efe in Tehran they said they will not go to the polls because they believe their vote is useless or because they do not want to legitimize the system.
Campaigns have spread on social networks calling for the boycott of elections, which also has urged the Iranian opposition in exile, while some surveys point to a participation lower than 30%.
However, the spokesman of the Council of Guardians, Ali Kadjodaí, said that the participation will not be less than 50%. 62% of citizens with the right to vote went to the 2016 legislatures, according to official data.
Kadjodaí also defended the disqualifications of candidates made by the Council of Guardians, that has the prerogative to approve or reject applicants, and assured that they were not based on political inclinations.
Competition in conservatives
Some 7,150 candidates attend the elections, half of those who registered, and among the vetoed 75 of the current deputies and numerous reformists and known moderates.
Disqualifications, but also the distrust of their potential voters, have affected the reformists, who arrive at the polls in a position of weakness, united in Tehran on the list Iran Coalition, headed by the cleric and former vice president Mayid Ansarí.
On the other side, there are on the contrary several groups that compete with each other, although in some provinces they have merged. Highlights the lists "Iran with the head high" and "Sustainability Front", which ended their campaigns last night since this Thursday is the day of reflection.
Tehran's number one "Iran with its head high" He is the former mayor of the city and former commander of the Revolutionary Guards Mohamad Baqer Qalibaf, a defender of the hard line who seems to have the approval of the supreme leader and who could become the next president of Parliament.