Today, the United States designated five members of Iran’s Guardian Council and its Elections Supervision Committee who have played a role in denying Iranians their right to free and fair elections. This includes Ahmad Jannati, the Secretary of the Guardian Council, who has in the past praised the killing of political dissidents and previously called on Iranian authorities to execute even more of them.
Clerics like Jannati have deprived the Iranian people of a real choice at the ballot box for the last 41 years. The officials designated today were appointed by or are associated with Iran’s unelected Supreme Leader. They oversee an electoral process that silences the voices of the Iranian people and limits their political participation. In advance of Iran’s upcoming parliamentary elections on February 21, the Guardian Council blocked more than 7,000 candidates from even running. Many of them were Iranians who questioned the Supreme Leader’s policies. This process is a sham. It is not free or fair.
The Iranian people oppose this regime’s brutality at home and its violent misadventures abroad. They deserve the opportunity to express their opinions without being marginalized or massacred. The voices of the Iranian people must be heard. The United States continues to stand with the proud people of Iran and we echo their calls for free and fair elections.
SECRETARY MICHAEL R. POMPEO