PARIS (Reuters) – The election of an ultra-conservative as Iran’s next president will lead to more repression at home and fuel Tehran’s drive to acquire nuclear weapons, an exiled opposition leader said on Saturday.
France-based Maryam Rajavi, self-styled president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said the elections had been rigged and widely boycotted. The NCRI, which wants to oust Iran’s clerical rulers, has in the past given accurate information on nuclear sites in Iran and forced Tehran to lift the veil on its nuclear program.
"There’s no doubt that the Mullah’s regime will emerge much weaker" from the elections, said Rajavi, whose NCRI is the political wing of the People’s Mujahideen, an armed guerrilla movement listed as a terrorist group by the United States.
"It will therefore step up repression inside the country, it will increase the export of terrorism and religious fundamentalist abroad," she said.
Rajavi branded president-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the mayor of Tehran, as a "terrorist and a murderer" whose call for national reconciliation was as fake as a the election result.
"Iranians have no illusions when Ahmadinejad calls for unity," she said through an interpreter in a phone interview.
"What he means is that other factions of the regime should join him and his supreme leader in repressing the Iranian people, help them export terrorism abroad and achieve nuclear power as soon as they can."
Tehran has frozen its uranium enrichment program, which could produce fuel for nuclear power plants or weapons, under a November deal with Britain, France and Germany. They have offered Iran incentives to halt and dismantle the program.
Rajavi said the U.N. Security Council should pass binding resolutions condemning Iran’s nuclear program and terrorism record, and demanded an end western "appeasement" of Iran.
"The complete consolidation of power in the hands of the most extremist factions of the Mullah’s regime is the result of the policy of appeasement some governments adopted toward the mullahs’ regime, hoping to encourage and promote the so-called moderates within the regime.
"We’ve ended up with a Revolutionary Guards officer and a terrorist in charge of the executive," Rajavi said.