U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement ahead of the results from today's Iranian presidential election. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Today's election in Iran was anything but free, fair and transparent. Elections aren't fair when half of the country's population is automatically disqualified because they are the wrong gender. They aren't free when they are restricted to only the candidates that the Supreme Leader Khamenei and his Guardian Council hand pick. And they certainly aren't transparent when the body in charge of selecting the candidates and certifying the election results is an unelected clerical body, unresponsive to the people of Iran and mostly handpicked by Khamenei himself. The Guardian Council is accountable to no one but the Ayatollah, and acts with no clearly defined set of guidelines or criteria for selecting the candidates.
"This whole thing was rigged from the get-go. Khamenei saw what happened in 2009, and fearing a repeat of the Green Revolution, rigged the process so that only candidates he favors could run. This election is about the Supreme Leader and the Revolutionary Guards cementing their control over the people of Iran. Sadly, that means that no matter who becomes the next leader, little will change for the people of Iran. The same economic, political and social impediments will continue to haunt the people of Iran and the international community will still be faced with the same obstacles as before the election -- an Iran intent on being nuclear weapons capable and Tehran propping up Hezbollah and the Assad regime in Syria."