A former revolutionary, turned bitter opponent of Iran’s Supreme Leader has called for a boycott of next February’s parliamentary elections and using “every opportunity” to protest.
In a statement, Abolfazl Qadiani (Ghadyani) said, “boycotting the elections is not a sign of passivity”, rather “participating in the elections of a controlled, impotent and crippled parliament”, which is just a show, “is total passivity”.
The Islamic Republic top leaders raised the price of gasoline on November 15, without consulting parliament, triggering widespread bloody protests. Hundreds were killed by security forces, throwing a dark shadow over parliamentary elections.
Qadiani's statement is the most direct call yet for boycotting elections, although the issue is out in the open and a subject of discussion on social media.
Qadiani who has been bitterly criticizing Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for the past two years, calling him a despot, says in his statement that without a will to stand up to despotism, taking part in the elections will be "total surrender". He added that the next elections are so devoid of credibility, the Islamic Republic cannot convince people to vote by scaring them that to stay away can make things worse than what they are now.
However, Qadiani admitted that boycotting elections will not force “despotism to retreat”.
Nevertheless, he called on all civic groups, supporters of democracy and factions to boycott the elections and called on them to use every opportunity to voice their protests.
Qadiani said it is persistent protest action that can eventually defeat the policy of “achieving victory by instilling fear and make Iran's current tyrant Ali Khamenei consent to free elections. Destroying the false grandeur of tyranny is the end of tyranny".