On Friday, August 19th, the fifth round of elections for the Organization of Psychology and Counseling System was held in Iran. Despite opposition from several psychology associations in the country, new members for the central council and inspection board of the organization were introduced.
Five national psychology associations expressed their concerns on August 16th about the inclusion of the “Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Intelligence Organization” on the list of qualified bodies for candidate approval in the elections for the central council and inspection board of the Organization of Psychology and Counseling System. This was conveyed through an announcement issued by the Legal Deputy of the Presidential Office.
In a joint statement, these associations highlighted their substantial efforts as influential professional entities, both in interactions with the Organization of Psychology and Counseling System of the country, and collectively or individually, in advancing professional matters.
Regardless of the associations’ expectations from the organizational system and the extent to which they were met, the profession is currently facing a significant challenge: the involvement of the government in the elections of an “independent and non-governmental” body, namely the Organization of Psychology and Counseling System. Previously, entities such as the law enforcement agencies served as the reference for verifying the eligibility of candidates for the Organization of Psychology and Counseling System. However, with the approval of the 13th government, the Intelligence Organization of the IRGC was added to the bodies responsible for candidate eligibility verification, which was met with strong opposition from psychologists and counselors in Iran. The associations signing this statement consider the legitimacy of these elections to be legally and generally lacking.
The five associations signing this statement, while explicitly opposing the August 17th elections, expressed their support for the holding of elections on a date other than the one scheduled, with the presence of representatives from the inspection board, scientific associations, and the organizational structure.
These associations include the Iranian Psychological Association, the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Association, the Health Psychology Association, the Family Psychology Association, and the Iranian Neuropsychology Association.
The interference by security institutions of the Islamic Republic in various ministry affairs has led to the weakening of democracy, intensification of the security environment in the country, and public dissatisfaction.