'New Iranian president too weak to change the situation': Testimony from Iran's despair

Azita, 24, who pleads with Israel and the West to save them, says, 'despite the fear of the regime, we have nothing left to lose, we have no quarrel with Israel; who needs nuclear power when there's no food and no freedom?'

Azita, Tehran|
The Iranians have elected Masoud Pezeshkian, a reformist supporter and cardiologist, as president, and now they will use him for propaganda in the West. I laugh because I remember what happened the last time the West made a big deal about an ophthalmologist becoming president of Syria.
The regime will market Pezeshkian to the West as a trailblazer and evidence of elections where anyone could be elected. They will say he is open to relations with the West, negotiations on the nuclear issue, and easing the enforcement and penalties of the morality police. But the truth is, he is too weak to change anything. He won't rebel; he has already pledged loyalty to the Supreme Leader.
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מסעוד פזשכיאן נשיא איראן ה חדש
מסעוד פזשכיאן נשיא איראן ה חדש
Masoud Pezeshkian
(Photo: Hossein Sepahvand/Office of the Iranian President via Getty Images)
His election signals the West about our situation in Iran. After Raisi the executioner, for those who crave real life and not life in a prison, Pezeshkian is considered an improvement, and I almost cry as I write this. We are desperate, and the 40% who voted in the first round indicate people's despair. Someone will have to come and help us for a miracle to happen.
Twenty years ago, Khamenei said that such low voter turnout in Western countries indicates citizens who have lost hope and faith in their political system and don't care anymore. Khamenei remembers his accurate observation, and it makes us genuinely fear the measures that will be taken against those who want to overthrow the regime, especially ahead of the U.S. elections. The situation hasn't calmed since the major protests and the economic conditions are strangling us.
The regime has managed to silence and deter the uprising, but people have stopped being afraid because what does a person have to lose if they have no freedom? But when they see the grave of a brother or a mother who hasn't seen her son for nearly a year and doesn't know what happened to him, it's terrifying, and the fear is contagious.
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מצביעים ב בחירות לנשיאות איראן ב טהרן 28 ביוני
מצביעים ב בחירות לנשיאות איראן ב טהרן 28 ביוני
Election in Teheran, June 28
(Photo: Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)
It's all staged. This is another Persian myth, just like with Rouhani. The regime here is very smart; it knows it can buy time from the West by selling it a "reformist" and "moderate" president. I beg you: don't buy these lies.
Desperate Iranians didn't go to the polls. They understood that this was the way to send a message to the West that they are fed up and can't take it anymore. Authorities extended voting times three times and forced people to vote, and still, less than 50% voted in the second round. There are videos showing polling officials sleeping on tables because they had nothing to do.
These elections are a farce meant to sell the gullible West on the idea that they were "democratic," when there is nothing democratic about them or Iran. We don't want this regime, we don't want proxies in Gaza or Lebanon, and we have no interest in nuclear weapons when there's nothing to eat and no freedom.
We need help from outside. Don't buy into this circus. There must be sanctions that are actually enforced. The power of Iran's elites, who are igniting the region, must be curtailed. We have no quarrel with Israel or Israelis. We are willing to endure severe Western sanctions as long as they hurt the elites. We've reached a point where we have no desire to live, and I don't see how much lower we can go. We need a shot of hope because it's getting hard to breathe.
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