Is Iran ready for a female president?


Presidential elections in Iran are months away. The electoral democracy that exists in Iran can be understood only after this election.

 The dice game of power was frozen around the election. 

Where are the centers of gravity of power, all of which can be felt. In particular, the polarization of radicals and reformists comes to the fore.

Once again, the names of some of the presidential candidates are already buzzing in the political arenas of Tehran. Interestingly, there is also a woman on the list. She is Faezah Hashemi.

Faezah is the daughter of former president Ali Akbar Rafsanjani. Rafsanjani was one of the organizers of the Iranian revolution. His daughter is also qualified. Also she is hotly debated. 

But no matter how qualified she is, Faizah may not be able to run in the election. There is no obstacle in the law. 

Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, a spokesman for the Guardian Council, explained this a few months ago. Even then, it is said, Iran is not yet ready for a female president.

Even ‘revolution’ is not enough for women-equality

Article 115 of Iran's constitution uses the term "Rajal-e-siassi" to describe the qualifications of a potential presidential candidate.

 That means he will be a 'political figure'. This word, which is included in the Persian constitution, is basically Arabic. Some are translating this Arabic into 'political men'.

 This explanation means that in 2005 a woman named Azam Teleghani was not allowed to vote. Whatever the case may be, it would be difficult for Iran's Guardian Council to accept a woman like Faezah. 

The Guardian Council selects the presidential candidate in Iran.

Faezah Hashemi's problem is not popularity. Elsewhere, Iran's revolutionary psyche is not yet in a position to see women in that position.

 The way Azam Teleghani's dream of becoming a famous revolutionary has remained elusive. She was the daughter of Ayatollah Mahmud Teleghani.

 Mahmud Teleghani was one of the reformists of the famous philosopher Ali Shariati Group. 

Their deep influence was in the political life of Azam Teleghani, her imprisonment in the Shah's prison, her election to the first post-revolutionary parliament. 

But her biography was also rejected by the Guardian Council when she began calling for additional reforms for women in post-revolutionary society. 

To the opposition, it was not her long hijab, but her attempt to find extra space for women that became the main identity. 

This is the clear evidence of the fact that ‘revolution’ often does not create an atmosphere of women-equality.

Biden is becoming an obstacle in front of the extremists!

As the revolution passed 42 years, symbolically says that the Iranian revolution has spent its youth. This revolution is now very sensitive to at least two questions.

 First, Iran's policy. Second, to raise any question about the role of General Soleimani throughout the Middle East. Faezah Hashemi does just that again and again.

Men and women like Faezah are one of the most challenging parties in Iranian politics at the moment. Their representative is President Hassan Rouhani. 

He is moderate in politics. The reformists once bet on him. His two terms are coming to an end. But he could not or did not take the slightest step in political reform. 

From civil liberties to the release of prisoners, Rouhani has not taken any steps to please the reformists in any field. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. 

The chief leader also asserted his position by understanding the character of other centers of power. As a result, there is extreme frustration in Iranian society at the moment with the reforms. 

Young people are not optimistic about the next election. It is, of course, an opportunity for radicals at the same time. 

No one from Iran but the President of the United States has become a small obstacle in front of them! It's a little weird. Biden's flexible Iran policy is making it difficult for extremists to rally the voters behind them.

Young people are losing interest in voting

There is no shortage of strange equations in geopolitics around the world. Three months ago, during the election campaign across the United States, many Muslim forces, from Saudi Arabia to the Afghan-Taliban, wanted Trump to win. 

In Iran, Reformists and extremists- both parties also have the same desire. There was a kind of frustration behind the demand of the reformists. 

Trump's tough Iran policy could be even more intense in his second victory, they thought. 

This is the basis of the hope that political reformation will accelerate in the country under increasing pressure.

The extremists' reckoning was the opposite. If Trump had won, it would have been easier to gather new voters by showing him the opposition.

 Especially that Trump is ‘the assassin of General Soleimani’. The real events did not happen in any way. Instead, Biden wants to ease relations with Iran. 

For President Rouhani, it is like oxygen. But hardliners from Majlis Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi to former President Ahmadinejad, think it could jeopardize their camp's victory in the upcoming election.

Again, reformist intellectuals think that no matter how much Biden makes concessions, it's too late for Rouhani. 

It will be difficult to find another reformist president in Iran. Because, young people are restless, frustrated by Rouhani's eight years of stagnation. 

They no longer think change is possible through voting. It will be difficult to take such voters to the polling station again. 

Like in 2017, there is no possibility of getting 73 percent votes. The same thing happened in the parliamentary elections of 2020. 

Only 42 percent of the vote fell, the lowest in the 42-year-old Iranian revolution. Although voting is promoted here as a religious duty when the season comes.

America is already late

It is difficult to guess which or how many centers of power in Iran are from outside the world. In addition to the supreme leader, there are expert councils, guardianship councils, presidents, parliaments, revolutionary guards,  mujtahids and marjaras of the holy, Qom city. 

They all influence Iranian politics. Without the president, these centers of power are now under the control of extremists. 

The long US blockade of Iran has not only worked against the United States, but also against democratic reform. 

As the pressure of the outside world on the country has increased, so has the scope of democracy. Even then, young people in universities are still talking about change in a low voice. 

In the midst of such conversations, some people went missing. Surveillance is working everywhere for dissidents. 

Such small young groups are often divided again. They have no national leader. But they are the majority. At least Rouhani's two-point electoral victory showed so.

In contrast, the center of gravity of the radicals is much more organized. At the moment, they are urging Rouhani not to give up on the US question. 

They want to give such a concession through their own president, after the presidential election. In other words, they want to occupy the post of president by any means. 

And Biden wants to settle with Rouhani. But it is too late for the success of this American policy. The US blockade has crippled Iranians economically and Rouhani politically.

 Rouhani had to share the blame. People will blame the president, elected by their votes, for their plight, that's normal.

Biden seeks to correct old mistakes

Despite Trump has ruined everything, Biden is trying to keep the Iranian youth afloat in the wake of Rouhani's last moments. 

Although the United States is rarely trusted in Iran. The Iranians have a deep distrust of Washington because of Israel's decades-long blindness. 

Besides, they have seen the same force in Saddam's side in Iraq. Saddam has also been eliminated. They also saw Soleimani die at the hands of the same force. It is not easy to consider such a person as an ally in the struggle for democracy. 

But where is the alternative to trust in front of young people in Iran? Even boycotting their vote will win the extremists. 

In the end, if there is no reformist (Javed Zarif?) Approved by the Guardian Council, then they will have to support someone like moderate, Ali Larijani.

But Biden will continue to try to correct old mistakes about Iran for many more days. Every move of Biden in the next few months, will affect the country's presidential election.

 Lifting the blockade on Iran would be a great gift for Rouhani and the reformists. However, in return for lifting the blockade, Rouhani will be prevented from every means, taking a flexible stance by Iran. 

He will be made unpopular as a Westerner. Biden has also hinted at releasing some Iranian funds already stuck in Korean banks. Thus, Iran may soon get one billion dollars.

But apart from Biden and the United States, there are many other domestic questions at the root of the reformist-extremist conflict in Iran.

 Iranian society is disturbed by the scale of surveillance in the country in the name of handling Israeli and US interference.

 The mob has been left alone in the arbitrary power of various agencies, from the Guardian Council to the Republican Guard. 

These centers of gravity have become huge towers of authority. Young people want reform. Faezah Hashemi's failure to participate in election is a form of such authority. 

She himself is not a reformist, but a radical. But she is also stuck in the patriarchal filter from that camp. Despite being a fundamentalist again, she is questioning the role of General Soleimani. In her words, what exactly has Soleimani done to change the lives of people inside Iran?

Even in this case, the mysterious death of her father, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani must be remembered. The body of the second influential figure in the Iranian revolution was found in a swimming pool in northern Tehran four years ago. Why did the electric lights of the pool go out at the time of death on that afternoon of January 8, 2017? Rafsanjani's body towel contains a lot of radioactive material.

Faces like Faezah are basically saying that Iran needs a lot of internal reforms. It is important to get those priorities before playing an international role. 

But very few policymakers in Iran want to allow such dissidents to come to the fore. Among such resisters is Faezah Hashemi's brother Mohsen Hashemi. He is the head of the Tehran City Council.

Thus, at the end of 42 years, the Iranian revolution has come to a standstill. Elections are unable to provide a fundamental and far-reaching solution to this situation. 

Iranian ideology is therefore going through the saddest time in history. Faezah Hashemi may have to leave the world like Azam Teleghani with political dissatisfaction.

 Even in this case, the mysterious death of her father, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani must be remembered. The body of the second influential figure in the Iranian revolution was found in a swimming pool in northern Tehran four years ago. 

Why did the electric lights of the pool go out at the time of death on that afternoon of January 8, 2017? Rafsanjani's body towel contains a lot of radioactive material.

After every revolution, many counter-revolutionary moments appear in the melting of such mysterious gaps. There are many 'stories' about why Rafsanjani died. 

The story begins in March 2016 with a tweet like this: ‘The next world will be negotiations and bargaining, not missiles.’ 

March is the month of Nowruz in Iran. Five years later, before another Nowruz, Iran is still in the throes of negotiations versus missiles, and Faezah is trying to keep her father's commitment alive.

There is a lot of snow in February as Iran is a country of four seasons. But spring of March is wonderful here. We don't know what will happen in March.

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