At the Ayatollah Khomeyni Mausoleum, the heart of Tehran’s Shiite fervor where Friday prayers are held, religious sermons were sprinkled with geopolitical messages. “I pray that people will vote according to the morals of the Revolutionary Guards, so that our Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei has all the powers to face the enemies of Iran.” This fifties, a black figure among the anonymous crowd of chadors, will see their wishes come true.
According to official accounts, this Saturday evening, a tidal wave of conservatives is about to surge at Madjles, the Parliament. They are the big winners expected from a tailor-made ballot, hundreds of candidates too far from the political spectrum having been rejected.
Sometimes more journalists than voters
Throughout Friday, polling stations in Tehran sometimes saw more journalists than voters, in a large propaganda operation which we do not know if it was addressed to the Iranians … or to the West. Unsurprisingly, the participation rate in the capital, at half-count, was 25%. At the national level, the official figure announced of 43% should be revised at least 5 points downward, if we want to have an idea of actual abstention.
Here, those disappointed in politics speak of “selection” and not real elections. However, this new electoral tightening should not give rise to vast disputes. Mojgan, a 23-year-old student, said, “Many Iranians are afraid of what a revolution would bring. Probably more instability ”.
In a trendy downtown coffee shop, the young woman does not care about her hijab, so undone that it no longer covers her hair. Like all the lower middle class, his parents saw the disappearance of the few savings they had in the bank, with American sanctions and the devaluation of the rial.
Concerning the coronavirus, psychosis is rising
Added to this is the arrival of the coronavirus. A sign of the crisis of confidence in the government, the psychosis is mounting in Iran. The inhabitants of the capital no longer go out without a mask or an alcoholic gel, convinced that they are not given the real figures…
In Tehran, we will have to wait a few days before knowing whether Mohammad Ghalibaf, the former conservative, presidential mayor, has indeed won his bet to arrive first. The dolphin, at this hour, is Sayed Mirsalim… another conservative, who is said to be slightly more reformist. If these initial results are confirmed, it would be a blow to the moderate president, Hassan Rohani, whose room for maneuver will be limited until the end of his mandate in 2021.