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(Video) The Parliamentary Server Breach and the End of Iran's Sham Election

In Iran election is nothing new. For a government where all strategic decisions are made by an unelected individual, the pretense of adherence to democratic principles and reliance on the people’s vote reveals more about the fragility of its deceptive nature.

In Iran election is nothing new. For a government where all strategic decisions are made by an unelected individual, the pretense of adherence to democratic principles and reliance on the people’s vote reveals more about the fragility of its deceptive nature.

The authorities within the regime not only acknowledge the widespread discontent among society but also cynically manipulate it to maintain their grip on power.

On Feb. 13, less than three weeks before the March 1st election, an Iranian dissident group called (Persian for Rise to Overthrow) seized control of over 600 servers linked to the (regime’s Majlis).”
— NCRI

PARIS, FARANCE, March 1, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ -- The National Council of Resistance of Iran-(NCRI) Foreign Affairs Committee in an article stated that in Iran, the call for participation in elections is nothing new. For a government where all vital and strategic decisions are made by an unelected individual, the pretense of adherence to democratic principles and reliance on the people’s vote reveals more about the fragility of its internal sustaining elements than it does about its deceptive nature.

However, if the nationwide election boycott, driven by decades of societal anger, discrimination, oppression, and widespread censorship, was a pervasive speculation, now, after the revelation of thousands of documents showcasing inefficiency, corruption, and fraud by authorities who claim to represent the people, it has become a public certainty.

Moving Beyond Reformism

Since 1989, following Khomeini’s death, the Iranian regime has orchestrated eight presidential elections and eight parliamentary elections. Despite the shifting faces and grandiose party titles, the reality on the ground tells a different story. Iranian citizens have witnessed a steady decline in their living standards due to a succession of detrimental policies, while the iron grip of suppression remains unchanged.

The authorities within the Iranian regime not only acknowledge the widespread discontent among society but also cynically manipulate it to maintain their grip on power.

Mohammad Khatami sought to win over the populace with promises of expanded freedoms, while Hassan Rouhani attempted to differentiate himself from his opponent, the current president Ebrahim Raisi, by highlighting Raisi’s history of involvement in torture and executions during the 2021 presidential campaign.

Despite the plethora of slogans and slick marketing tactics, 45 years of religious dictatorship have left an indelible mark on the Iranian people. They have come to realize that as long as this regime endures, meaningful change remains elusive. Every instance of local and nationwide dissent has been met with brutal repression by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and other key intelligence apparatuses.

In the 2017 nationwide uprising, Iranians sent a resounding message to the world with a single rallying cry: “Reformists, principalists, the game is over!” This declaration signaled their collective transcendence beyond the divisive factions perpetuating the regime’s hold on power.

Legislating poverty and misery

On February 13, less than three weeks before the March 1st election, an Iranian dissident group called GhiamSarnegouni (Persian for Rise to Overthrow) seized control of over 600 servers linked to the Islamic Consultative Assembly (regime’s Parliament, called Majlis) and released numerous confidential documents.

The societal shockwaves triggered by this event were so profound that even state-affiliated media outlets felt compelled to report on it, albeit with attempts to downplay and sow seeds of doubt to mitigate its dire consequences.

Bahar News, run by officials close to former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, stated in its February 24th issue, “According to hacked information from the

parliament, the average monthly earnings of parliament members in Khordad (the Iranian calendar month corresponding to May/June) ranged from 170 to 270 million tomans, supplemented by variable bonuses of 25 to 30 million tomans per month!”

The Rouydad 24 website reported on February 15, “Rouydad 24 randomly examined the codes listed in the published list by the hacking group and concluded that the IBAN codes are accurate and belong to the parliament members. According to this table, the average monthly earnings of parliament members in the month of Khordad amounted to over 200 million tomans. The highest earnings, equivalent to nearly 265 million tomans, were paid to Malek Sharyati Niasar and Mahdi Taghyani, members of the Energy and Economic Commissions.”

Amidst recent revelations, Iranians have been awakened to a stark reality: while they struggle to put meat, milk, and fruits on their tables, their hard-earned tax money is squandered on extravagant snacks and late-night luxuries enjoyed by members of parliament. Compounding this injustice, official statistics reveal that over 30% of Iranians, and according to some state media estimates, possibly over 70%, grapple with life below the poverty line.

In a poignant piece published on February 25, the Setareh-s-Sobh newspaper reported, “Data from the Cost-of-Living Index in Tehran and major cities underscores the staggering reality: the cost-of-living basket has surged to 23 million tomans. Meanwhile, a distressing scenario unfolds where more than 60% of retirees from the Social Security Organization scrape by on a meager 9 million tomans. Additionally, a disheartening 40% of workers receive a minimum wage of 10 million tomans.”

The year 2023 witnessed a wave of discontent as retirees across Iran took to the streets a staggering 1,362 times to protest their abysmally low wages. After dedicating their lives to toil and service, they simply demand wages that afford them dignity, enabling them to contend with skyrocketing inflation and the escalating cost of basic necessities.

According to official data, retirees’ pensions barely cover the expenses of an average family for one week. Even the minimum wage for workers only covers about one-third of monthly expenses. The state news agency ILNA reported on February 12, “More than 60% of retirees under the Social Security Organization in Iran live on salaries of less than 9 or even 8 million tomans. With these earnings, perhaps one can barely sustain a week’s livelihood.”

Earlier, state-affiliated media disclosed that 5,000 children and grandchildren of government officials reside in Western countries. Many of them possess apartments and villas in the most opulent areas of North Tehran. However, it is increasingly apparent that the extravagant lifestyles they lead are not merely financed through illicit means and intermediaries but directly from the pockets of the Iranian people.

Facilitating repression and terrorism

The leaked documents also provide insight into the reasons behind Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf’s assumption of the parliament’s presidency.

Previously, the corruption cases of this former IRGC commander, who takes pride in admitting his role in suppressing the student uprising in 1999, were well-known to the Iranian public.

During his tenure as mayor of Tehran, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf became entangled in various corruption scandals, including the infamous “Baby Stuff Gate” affair and the “Yas Holding” scandal.

Moreover, he faced accusations of accepting bribes and accepting an SUV, using his wife’s charity for personal gain, and funneling cash to state media.

Additionally, his son, Eshagh Ghalibaf, was reportedly involved in efforts to secure permanent immigration to Canada. As a result, the lifestyle of the parliament speaker’s family has come under intense public scrutiny.

The leaked documents have unveiled the government’s apprehensions regarding certain parliament members during the 2022 uprising. Those whose candidacy for the 2024 elections has been denied are deemed undesirable, reflecting the regime’s nervousness about its future and Khamenei’s determination to weed out dissenting voices from both the Majlis and the Assembly of Experts.

Confidential records depict Ghalibaf’s role as a conduit for Khamenei and the IRGC, facilitating the passage of crucial legislation. They also reveal how requests from the General Staff of the Armed Forces, the Ministry of Intelligence, and the Quds Force for substantial budgets are swiftly endorsed with Ghalibaf’s involvement.

Furthermore, the documents underscore parliament’s pivotal role in the IRGC’s endeavor to seize control of the automotive industry. Despite the production of substandard vehicles known as “chariots of death,” Iran’s automotive sector remains highly lucrative.

In a revealing television interview, Jalal Rashidi Kouchi, a disqualified parliament member, disclosed that a faction offered him a 150 billion toman bribe to publicly state that “the issue of car imports is canceled.”

These new revelations further prove that Majlis members, who are supposed to represent the interests of the people who elect them, are nothing more than showcase pieces that carry out the orders of Khamenei and the IRGC.

However, the parliament’s connections with the IRGC and extensive intelligence apparatus are not the only concerns. When Iranians looked to the parliament for decisions on mandatory hijab and internet restrictions, they harbored no illusions of goodwill. But discovering that their funds are diverted from essential services to fuel repression and the loss of their children amplifies their outrage.

Iranian people’s vote

Before the 2009 presidential elections, the Iranian regime embarked on a calculated social maneuver, aiming to enhance its appeal and fabricate the illusion of substantial change with the emergence of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who had previously served as Prime Minister under Khamenei in the early 1980s.

During the electoral campaign, state media orchestrated debate sessions where carefully screened candidates participated in live television debates, revealing each other’s involvement in crimes and corruption. While the regime’s manipulation of the presidential election proved fruitful for Ali Khamenei, the unintended consequences, the unbridled revelations, were far from desirable for the ruling establishment.

Millions of awakened Iranians seized the opportunity, exploiting the divisions within the ruling hierarchy, and took to the streets, demanding the downfall of the dictator, Khamenei.

Today, the ongoing nationwide boycott of the sham elections is not the sole cause for Tehran’s concern. Having lost thousands of their loved ones in suppressed uprisings and witnessing half a million Iranians perish due to mismanagement during the COVID-19 pandemic, with millions more falling into poverty due to embezzlement and corruption by authorities, and enduring numerous political, economic, and social grievances, Iranians have ample reasons to call for the overthrow of the ruling dictatorship.

Therefore, the Iranian people’s vote on March 1 is not an endorsement of Khamenei’s handpicked candidates. Their voice reverberates through the streets and alleys every day and night: “Death to Khamenei!” “My vote is regime change!” and “It is no longer time for elections, it’s time for a revolution!”

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Shahin Gobadi
NCRI
+33 6 61 65 32 31
email us here

Enduring numerous political, economic, poverty, and social grievances, Iranians have ample reasons to call for the overthrow of the ruling dictatorship.

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