The Sunnis in Iran have always played an important role in the country’s stability and security, and they have carried out this great responsibility elaborately because of their presence in the country’s borders.
In view of their significant number and high rate of participation in the elections, the Sunnis of Iran demanded the establishment of democracy and justice in the country, and considered that elections are the most peaceful way to improve the situation and eliminate inequality and discrimination. Read also Between a legitimate duty and a national interest.. this is how religious minorities participated in the Iranian elections Presidency of Iran.. Lineups and a battle of nominations Sunni electoral weight in the Iranian presidency الرئاسي Iran’s Sunnis are with Rouhani and seek equality with Shiites
Consulting and Claims
These days, presidential candidates and their representatives visit and consult with Sunni personalities and groups to support them in the elections.
Jalal Jalalizadeh, a former Sunni MP in the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Parliament) and a professor at the University of Tehran, indicated that the Strategic Shura of the Sunnis is currently discussing the demands of Iran’s Sunnis with the presidential candidates.
In his interview with Al Jazeera Net, Jalalizadeh added that the presence of Sunnis in the presidential elections may stir the lukewarm atmosphere for the elections, and may contribute to the victory of one of the candidates in it.
Jama’at al-Dawa wa al-Islah is one of the Sunni groups active in the field of elections in Iran. The official in charge of the group’s electoral campaign, Salah Qasimiani, says, “Our discourse is reform, and we seek change in all areas of society, especially the political, within the framework of a non-violent and hopeful reform, and making the most of all opportunities and loopholes.” Legal proceedings – including elections – in the interest of the future of the country, civil society and the Sunnis.
Qasimiani added, in his speech to Al Jazeera Net, that one of the most important factors that made the presidential candidates open a special account for the Sunnis is the cohesion and unity of the Sunni voices, and this is the first time that the candidates mention the year of Iran explicitly and repeatedly in their debates.
Number of year in Iran
According to the Ministry of the Interior, 59 million Iranians are eligible to vote (about 70% of Iran’s population of 85 million), so 70% of the votes of the 13 million Sunnis will be very effective in the current situation, according to the researcher and author of the book “Ahl al-Sunnah” Iran… Opportunities and Challenges”, Abdel-Zaher Soltani, for Al Jazeera Net
According to research and studies conducted in 2011, the number of Sunnis in Iran at that time was about 10.5 million.
Expectations and shortcomings
The previous elections witnessed a wide participation of Sunnis, but the failure of governments to fulfill their promises, and the lack of development in the Sunni regions – especially in the regions of Baluchistan and Kurdistan – may affect their participation in the current and upcoming elections as well.
The Friday Imam of the Sunnis in Balochistan, Iran, Maulana Abdul Hamid, called for justice and the elimination of discrimination, and the employment of Sunni experts in various government positions in order to effectively participate in the elections.
Muhammad Ali Vakili, former deputy of the Shura Council and official spokesperson for the election campaign of the current President Hassan Rouhani, said in his participation through the Clubhouse application entitled “The Year and Future Prospects.. 1400 Elections (according to the solar Hijri calendar in Iran, equivalent to 2021).” The Sunnis, as the noble part of Iranian society, have always been part of the segments participating in the elections. Unfortunately, officials and politicians remember them only during the election seasons, he said.
Wakili added that Hassan Rouhani’s victory in the elections depends on the participation of the Sunnis, and that the record of the fundamentalist and reformist currents in granting the rights of peoples and sects is not an impressive record.
Considering the failure of previous presidents to fulfill their promises to the Sunnis, and first Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri’s acknowledgment of neglecting the rights of the Sunnis on the one hand, and his acknowledgment of the efforts of new candidates to persuade Sunnis and their scholars to participate in the elections on the other hand, we must watch whether the Iranian Sunnis will decide the future of the Iranian presidency with effective participation. Or will they refrain from participating in protest of the governments’ failure to fulfill their promises to them?