June 15, 2021
Zakani Accuses Azari Jahromi of Hypocrisy
Ali-Reza Zakani took aim at the Minister of Communications, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, criticising his stance on internet filtering. Zakani mocked Azari Jahromi for being a self-styled “Minister for Freedom” and called the Minister disingenuous for presenting himself as a progressive since he was responsible for the portfolio that enforced internet filtering.
May 23, 2021
Iranians to Get Free Internet for Election Campaign
Minister for Communication, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, announced that all Iranians would be provided with free internet for the month leading up to election day. Azari Jahromi said this was meant to heighten interest in the election and increase voter turnout. Previously, Azari Jahromi had announced the government would give free internet to all approved candidates to equalise their online presence, regardless of financial resources.
May 17, 2021
Candidates to Get Free Internet
Minister for Communications Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi announced that approved candidates will be provided with free internet to advertise their campaigns. Azari Jahromi said that the reasons were to provide a level playing field to all candidates to promote themselves, regardless of their financial resources, as well as to compensate for the lack of rallies and public gatherings due to COVID.
May 15, 2021
Ali Larijani Registers
Former Speaker of the Majles (2008-2020), Ali Larijani, who had mostly remained distant from discussions of the election, was the surprise registration on the final day. Larijani said he was reluctant to nominate but felt compelled by the state of the candidates, saying that the Presidency required an experienced politician, as the “economy is neither a barracks nor a court room”, a clear swipe at Saeed Mohammad and Ebrahim Raisi. Saeed Mohammad hit back on Twitter saying that “the era of aristocratic families is over”, a reference to the senior roles held by Larijani and his two brothers. Larijani is a conservative but is expected to pick up votes from followers of more moderate and Reformist candidates. Almost immediately, the social media networks of Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, who was barred from nominating due to his young age, were directly their supporters to back Ali Larijani.
May 14, 2021
Fourth Day of Registrations
The fourth day of registrations was among the most controversial so far, with high-profile former political prisoner Mostafa Tajzadeh registering in the morning, a rumour of Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi’s plans to register in defiance of the Guardian Council (which never eventuated), and a number of members of the public whose registrations were symbolic, including a 22-year-old female university student and a Kurdish man in traditional costume who told reporters “no one can stop me from running because of my religion”, a clear reference to the exclusion of Sunni Muslims in Iran. Among other high-profile candidates registering today were IRGC officer Ali-Reza Afshar and Fereydoun Abbasi, the former head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation.
May 14, 2021
Kadkhodaei Visits Election HQ
Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, spokesman for the Guardian Council, arrived at election headquarters at 3pm to meet with officials of the Ministry of Interior. After the meeting, Kadkhodaei gave a speech in which he said “those who register for this election must provide documents contained in the Guardian Council’s resolution on candidates, otherwise their eligibility will not be checked”. Kadkhodaei’s comments were likely an indication that Mostafa Tajzadeh’s registration will be disqualified by the Ministry of Interior and not even considered by the Guardian Council. The timing of Kadkhodaei’s visit also may have been in response to rumours that Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, the Minister for Communications who was barred from this election, was due to arrive at 3:30pm in order to register in defiance of the Guardian Council.
May 12, 2021
Second Day of Registrations
The second day of registrations took place with more theatre as supporters of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad caused disruptions at Election Headquarters, while supporters of Minister for Communications Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi gathered in front of the building, calling on their candidate to register in defiance of the Guardian Council. Among those registering today were former Ahmadinejad era cabinet members Mohammad Abbasi, Mohammad Jahromi, Sadegh Khalilian and Mohammad-Sharif Malekzadeh. Others included conservative deputy speaker of the Majles, Amin-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi (who was accompanied by his daughter), moderate leader Qodrat-Ali Heshmatian, diplomat Mohammad-Hassan Qadiri Abyaneh, and eccentrically dressed hair salon owner Behrouz Vosoughi who has also registered in the last few elections.
May 10, 2021
Rouhani and Guardian Council in Law War
This afternoon, President Rouhani issued a directive to the Minister of the Interior (whose department overlooks the electoral process) to follow existing laws and not adhere to the conditions added by the Guardian Council last Wednesday. Among those conditions was an age restriction of candidates to between 40 and 75, which would exclude Rouhani’s Minister of Communication, Mohammad-Javad Azari-Jahromi, from running. A few hours later, the Guardian Council responded on social media through a spokesman, stating that “the decision of the Guardian Council regarding the conditions of the registrants of the Presidential elections is binding on the Ministry of Interior”.
Read more about Rouhani at Hamshahrionline.
Read more about the Guardian Council’s response at MashreghNews
May 9, 2021
Azari Jahromi Criticises Guardian Council Decision
Minister of Communication Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi posted a video on Instagram in which he criticised the current generation of leaders for not following the example of the Revolutionary generation in passing on responsibilities to younger members of the government. Azeri Jahromi added that, “because most management positions are simply moved between the same generation, the average age of cabinets and managerial positions ages with them”. Azari Jahromi has been excluded from running for President by the Guardian Council following a rule change on Wednesday, as he is under 40.
May 8, 2021
Guardian Council releases 12 Criteria for a Candidates
The Guardian Council has released its twelve criteria for the presidential candidates for this election. In addition to the military rank condition, which will exclude Saeed Mohammad, the age restriction of 40-75, which will exclude Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi and Mohammad Gharazi, and the criminal record condition, which will exclude Mostafa Tajzadeh, the conditions also include not being affiliated with the 2009 “sedition”, meaning having shown now support for the protests during the disputed election result of that year.