The past few days have been terrible for the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Feb. 21 parliamentary elections were boycotted by a majority of the population, with credible reports that just 19% of the population voted nationwide. The election was more tightly controlled by the regime than ever before, as the “reformist” faction of the regime was prevented from running most of its candidates by the Guardian Council, which chooses who may run in Iranian elections. But the public has also given up on the regime’s electoral charade — Iranians know that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali @Khamenei_Ir and the Revolutionary Guard make all decisions and that #Parliament is useless. The blow to the regime’s legitimacy comes at a particularly bad time for the ruling elite. The economy faces collapse as the Islamic Republic is challenged by internal rebellion and protests against its rule across the #MiddleEast . Moreover, the regime’s negligence and incompetence in handling the coronavirus outbreak in Iran have made the country the second-biggest source of a possible global pandemic. The regime has close to zero legitimacy and credibility among Iranians. The recent parliamentary elections were a crucial test for the regime’s legitimacy as it has faced nationwide protests and strikes for more than two years, culminating in a major popular uprising in November 2019. The Aban uprising (named after the #Iranian month of Aban) shook the regime to its core. Dozens of Iranian cities, including the capital Tehran, witnessed anti-regime uprisings after a threefold increase in fuel prices. Khamenei responded violently, ordering his security forces to kill and maim thousands of unarmed civilian protesters. He hoped that the parliamentary elections would steady the sinking ship of state as he urged Iranians to vote even if they didn’t “like” him. Instead, Iranians boycotted the elections en masse, as evidenced by videos of empty polling stations across the country and reports of historically low turnout. - 19 minutes ago