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U.S. Approves Iranian Voter Stations for Islamic Republic’s Presidential Election

Controversial Decision Faces Backlash Over National Security Concerns.

In a controversial decision, President Joe Biden's administration has permitted the Islamic Republic of Iran to operate absentee voter stations across the United States for its upcoming presidential election. This move has sparked significant backlash due to Iran's status as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism.

Voice of America reported that Iranian Foreign Ministry official Alireza Mahmoudi confirmed plans to set up dozens of ballot stations in the U.S., noting that approximately 30% of Iran’s diaspora resides in America. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are about half a million people of Iranian origin in the U.S., while the National Union for Democracy in Iran (NUFDI) estimates over one million.

  • State Department Skepticism: The U.S. State Department expressed doubts about the legitimacy of Iran’s election, anticipating corruption.

  • Historical Precedent: The Biden administration argued that allowing Iran to conduct elections on U.S. soil is not unprecedented and has been done in the past.

  • National Security Concerns: Critics, including Richard Goldberg of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, argue that facilitating Iran’s election undermines U.S. security, given Iran’s history of targeting Americans.

Goldberg, who previously served in the Trump administration, labeled the decision as "theater of the absurd." He questioned the rationale behind allowing a state sponsor of terrorism to conduct elections in the U.S. and raised concerns about the individuals who would oversee these voting stations.

Iranian activist and actress Nazanin Boniadi also criticized the move, calling it "preposterous." She highlighted the inherent contradiction in facilitating elections for a regime known for suppressing free and fair democratic processes. Boniadi pointed out that while regime opponents advocate for boycotting the election, the U.S. is inexplicably permitting absentee ballots for what she describes as a "farce."

The Biden administration’s foreign policy, particularly towards Iran, has been widely criticized for perceived weakness. This latest decision is seen by many as further evidence of a lack of firm stance against a regime with a track record of hostility towards the U.S. and its allies.

As the situation develops, national security experts and concerned citizens continue to scrutinize the implications of allowing a foreign state sponsor of terrorism to conduct elections within American borders.

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