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01/29/2020 Iran (International Christian Concern) – Iran’s election cycle is moving forward, despite the massive amount of popular discontent that continues to haunt the country. Iran’s Guardian Council, which must approve the candidacy of those seeking elections, has purged 90 current legislators and thousands of first-timers from the process. The election is scheduled for the end of February.

This purge has drawn criticism from President Rouhanni, who has said that the Guardian Council claims to offer electoral diversity but is instead offering “the same commodity.” The Guardian Council quickly responded that Rouhanni’s anger is that his son was one of the candidates who was disqualified. The two factions continue to dispute publically, giving a direct glimpse into the infighting that has deeply plagued the government as the country moves from crisis to crisis.

Since the government finds its identity and authority from Islam, this kind of public infighting has often served to move Iranians away from Islam and instead become interested in Christianity. Meanwhile, the electoral roster approved by the Guardian Council shows that we can expect even less participation of reformist parties and an increased emphasis from the government’s hardline factions. Such a stance does not bode well for Iran’s religious minorities and others who are vocal in their dissent with the regime.

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