1. The regime plans another Big Lie and hopes to conceal it.
Any limited trace of fairness in the regime's elections disappeared forever after refomists won the Majlis in 2000 and the presidency in 2001. Khamenei realized that a pent-up desire for change would only increase with each passing year. He concluded that, one way or another, elections had to be rigged. Worse yet, the degree of rigging required to thwart essential changes could only increase.
Like everyone else, Khamenei knows what he can't admit publicly--that turnout this time will be atrociously low. What else should he have expected after the Big Lie of 2009 Big Lie ("Ahmadinejad "won)?" The Big Lie of 2012 will be, "Iranians turned out in overwhelming numbers showing their support for the regime and public respect for its leader."
Khamenei hopes silencing any independent journalists in advance will hide what is too obvious to conceal. In the old days, that trick might have worked but after the Communications Revolution it has no chance of success. The truth will out, both inside and outside his borders. Thus one "pie in the face" (a horrific turnout) will be supplemented by another (widespread mockery of coverup attempts. In every way possible Election Day promises to be humiliating, even more so than in 2009.
2. With "election rigging" under consideration as a last resort,Khamenei doesn't want independent journalists raising embarassing questions.
If all else fails, Khamenei won't hestitate to rig elections once again. The only thing different in 2012 will be a new target (Ahmadinejad's faction) replacing reformers. Call it "poetic justice." Experts say Ahmadinejad is likely to do well where turnout will likely be biggest: rural areas. Supposedly Khamenei's faction supposedly will do better in the cities even if that's where boycotting reformers are concentrated. The JPO (the pro-Khamenei slate) fears it may be clobbered, just as reformists stomped Ahmadinejad in 2009. True to form, he'll relyon what "worked" in 2009. After cheating on a superhuman scale, he will endorse an alleged JPO "victory."
3. Expecting trouble afterwards, Khamenei does not want independent journalists arount to report on it.
I doubt Ahmadinejad's faction will accept the alleged "results" quietly. Khamenei surely has the same doubts. Should the proclaimed "losers" launch protest demonstrations, everyone is likely to join in. That includes former greens, anyone else disgusted two years of police state tactics with no end in sight. and, most importantly, any workers, middle class and merchants fed up with the regime's economic incompetence and corruption and boomerangs caused by its covert schemes abroad.
As I write, Khamenei is "prepping" its security forces--handing out clubs, rifles and tear gas for use against Iran's people. If they don't suffice, you will see tanks, artillery and even helicopters. Women and children will not be spared. Since most troops have friends, families and relatives on the other side and often share the people's grievances they may be no more reliable than Syrian forces.
If demonstrations become as large, persistent and widespread as in Syria, the regime will face two major risks that are much lower for Assad. First, outsiders will be less likely to restrain themselves if Iranians issue the same "Save Us!" appeals we see in Syria. Iran is more suitable for a low fly zone, while neighbors and the West have much greater motivation having suffered from so many covert schemes directed from Tehran. Secondly, minority attitudes in Iran are the reverse of minority attitudes in Syria. In Iran, years of persecution has made them enemies. In Syria,minorities tend to support Assad for fear of Islamist radicals.
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