Schiff calls Iranian presidential election 'predetermined'

Schiff calls Iranian presidential election 'predetermined'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOfficers offer harrowing accounts at first Jan. 6 committee hearing Live coverage: House panel holds first hearing on Jan. 6 probe Five things to watch as Jan. 6 panel begins its work MORE (D-Calif.) said Sunday that Iran’s presidential election on Saturday was “predetermined,” noting that the country had a low voter turnout.

“The outcome was predetermined, but what struck me was the fact that this was I think the lowest turnout in an Iranian presidential election, perhaps in history,” Schiff said on CBS'“Face the Nation.” “Iranians voted with their feet by not showing up at the polls. And millions who did show up at the polls cast white ballots - that is they didn’t check off a candidate for president.”

Ebrahim Raisi won the country's presidential election on Saturday with 17.8 million votes, according to the Associated Press. He is an ultraconservative judiciary chief and is close to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. 

Schiff, who is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, called Raisi's victory a "protest vote."

“It was a protest vote to say you have essentially stripped us of any choice of a more moderate leader and instead it’s just ratifying who the Supreme Leader wants,” Schiff said.

Schiff also noted that he believed the US still has an opportunity to enter into negotiations over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, saying, “I think that we have a window of opportunity to reenter the JCPOA before Raisi takes office.”