The International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah) issued its monthly Iran Case File for June 2021, providing readers in general and researchers in particular with an in-depth analysis and comprehensive review of Iran’s affairs in June. The file is divided into three main parts: Internal Affairs, Arab Affairs and International Affairs.
Regarding Internal Affairs, the Iranian presidential election was the most significant event during June, 2021. It opened up discussions about all aspects of the crisis (internal and external) which Iran is facing including the political, economic, social, and cultural ones.
The file discusses how the Iranian government worked tirelessly to convince the Iranian people to head to the polling stations through ratcheting up religious discourse and issuing more fatwas. But this step was countered with an alternative discourse which attacked the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and rendered participation in the election unlawful as well as calling for the election to be boycotted.
At the political level, the Guardian Council’s decision to disqualify most of the prominent presidential candidates led Ebrahim Raisi in the first round to win the election by a large margin. This election — boycotted by more than half of the Iranian voting population — experienced events that had not been witnessed since the 1979 revolution. The election resulted in the lowest voter turnout, blank ballots were cast as well as many cancelled and lost ballots. The file reviews the economic visions and programs which the president-elect is expected to establish.
The Military File in June includes a host of developments. Western journalists have recently raised the issue of Iran’s plan to purchase sophisticated satellite systems from Russia, which will give the country significant ability to track prospective military targets in the Middle East. They also discussed Israeli infiltrations and military operations inside Iran, which exposed the weaknesses of Iran’s intelligence agencies.
Regarding Arab Affairs, Gulf-Iran relations remained relatively cool. However, Raisi’s electoral victory grabbed more attention, leading to divergences in regard to his victory and raised a host of questions, including those related to the future of Saudi-Iran talks. In the Yemeni file, the Iran-backed Houthi militia continues its military escalation inside and outside Yemen. The Iraqi arena also witnessed consequential events, namely the airstrikes carried out by the US Army against the arms depots and caches operated by Iran’s proxies s in Iraq’s city of Qaim and Syria’s city of Al Bukamal, both located on the Iraqi-Syrian border. These airstrikes were a response to repeated Katyusha rocket and drone attacks launched by militias against US troops and facilities in Iraq.
As for International Affairs, the file reviews the reaction of the US administration to the election of Ebrahim Raisi. Washington questioned the validity of the presidential election. None of the European countries welcomed his victory due to his infamous human rights record.