Iranians will go to the polls on Friday for the first time since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected in 2009.
Thousands of supporters of reform candidate Mir-Hussein Mousavi protested that result, sparking months of unrest across the Islamic Republic. Many reformist politicians and their supporters are now calling for a boycott of Friday’s elections.
“I won’t vote because in the last election I didn’t get my rights,” Mohammed Bagheri, a resident of Tehran, told Al Jazeera. “And those who did protest the result were faced with batons or imprisonment.”
Others feel they must obey the call from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and vote to send a message that Iranian democracy is strong.
“Yes we have problems, but I am a nationalist and we need to vote to show our enemies we are unified,” said Mariam Zafari, a resident of Tehran.
Whatever the outcome, many consider Friday’s parliamentary elections to be a battle within the country’s conservative camp.
“It is an internal struggle jockeying for power between Ahmadinijad and the Supreme Leader,” Sadegh Zibakalam, a professor at Tehran University, told Al Jazeera