June 19, 2021
Raisi Announced as President Elect
The Ministry of Interior announced the results of the Presidential election at noon. Out of 28.8 million votes, Ebrahim Raisi was declared the winner with about 17.9 million votes (62.1%), Mohsen Rezaei came second with about 3.4 million votes (11.8%), Abdol-Naser Hemmati received about 2.4 million votes (8.3%) and Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi received less than 990,000 votes (3.4%). The Ministry reported that over 4 million votes were invalid (14.4%) and the overall turnout was 48.8%, a drop of 24% from the 2017 election. The election participation rate was particularly low in Tehran, but higher in the provinces.
June 18, 2021
Delay in Polling Stations Opening
There was considerable voter frustration as the opening of polling stations was delayed in many locations throughout the country, with some taking several hours to open. Speculation online as to the cause wavered between rumours of a cyber-attack, a deliberate ploy to make the voting queues seem longer and general mismanagement. Later, the Head of IT at Election Headquarters explained that the delay was caused in the slowness in loading of the system for authenticating registered voters, which had been delivered to each polling station by the Ministry of Interior in the hour before polls opened for security reasons.
June 18, 2021
Voting Extended to 2am
The Election Headquarters at the Ministry of Interior announced in the evening that polling stations could stay open for an additional two hours, until 2am, due to the delay that occurred in polling stations opening on Friday morning. However, some polling stations appeared to still be open at 3am in some parts of the country.
June 16, 2021
Leader Encourages Iranians to Vote
In an address to the nation, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that by voting, Iranians ensure the safety of the republican system. Khamenei said that if the turnout is low, it will allow the enemy to coerce Iran with the intention of making the country a hotbed for terrorism. Khamenei said that Iranians should not take advantage of their democracy and look to Saudi Arabia, where citizens “don’t know a ballot box from a fruit box”.
June 16, 2021
Motahari: Hemmati Likely to Win in Second Round
Disqualified candidate Ali Motahari said that “if all those who oppose [the decisions of] the Guardian Council and support free elections, including Reformists and Moderates, support Hemmati, then the chances that the elections will go to a second round are high”. Motahari encouraged Iranians to vote for Hemmati to “seize the remaining loophole of free elections”. Motahari said only through voting did Iranians have an opportunity to change the make-up of the current Guardian Council, and save their system. Some unsourced polls published earlier claimed that Hemmati could win the election with a turnout of 57%.
June 15, 2021
Larijani Encourages Iranians to Vote
Disqualified candidate Ali Larijani became the latest high-profile figure to release a statement encouraging people to vote on June 18. Larijani asked Iranians to put aside the controversy of the country’s internal and external problems and show that their will is greater than those they blame for Iran’s failures.
June 14, 2021
Zarif Encourages Iranians to Vote
One-time favourite candidate, Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif, released a video on Instagram in which he beseeched Iranians to vote for the good of Iran. Zarif said that boycotting was not a solution, and voting would be a blow to Iran’s enemies, particularly Israel. Zarif added that voting will not only accelerate the end of sanctions but will also insulate Iran from future sanctions.
June 13, 2021
Khatami Calls on Reformists to Vote
Former President Mohammad Khatami published a handwritten letter in which he called on Reformists to participate in the elections despite the “cold and depressing atmosphere”. Khatami, whose actions are not reported in Iran due to his support for the 2009 election protests, appealed to nationalistic sentiments, saying that Reformist should vote in order to “properly fulfill their responsibility towards the homeland and the people at this critical time”. The government fears that a low turnout will be interpreted as delegitimising the election result.
June 11, 2021
Canada Blocks Iranians From Voting
A spokesperson for the Electoral Commission, Esmail Mousavi, lashed out at the Canadian government, accusing them of preventing Iranian citizens of Canada from participating in the election. Canada and Iran have not had diplomatic relations since 2012, meaning that there is no Iranian embassy or consulate in which Iranian citizens can vote in Canada, and Canada has not allowed the Iranian government to set up any polling station inside the country since diplomatic relations broke a decade ago, citing the meaninglessness of Iran’s elections and the lack of legal obligation for Canada to allow the vote. Mousavi said that Iran will organise voting stations inside the United States near the Canadian border to cater for its citizens in Canada.
June 2, 2021
Rezaei’s Radio Program Not Aired
Mohsen Rezaei became the latest candidate to have a program not aired at the allocated time. Rezaei said that the radio requested he remove a section where members of the public express reluctance to vote. Rezaei vowed to publish it uncensored on social media adding that “we had a Revolution to hear the voice of the people”.