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June 17, 2021

Kadkhodaei on Larijani and Ahmadinejad Disqualifications

In response to a question on the disqualification of Ali Larijani and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, spokesman of the Guardian Council, said “I do not know the reason for their rejection.  We are not obliged to give reasons, but in last week three or four asked and the reasons were provided to them”. Kadkhodaei added that he hoped any issues regarding procedure of vetting candidates would be resolved through legislation by the Majles after the election, ignoring the fact that the Guardian Council changed the vetting criteria before the election against the wishes of the Majles. 

Read more at Fararu

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%. 

Read more at KhabarOnline

June 16, 2021

Election Result Announced before Noon Saturday

Seyyed Mehr Mousavi, the spokesman from the Election Headquarters from the Ministry of Interior, said that the result of the election will be announced before noon Saturday, within twelve hours of polls closing. Mousavi said that the Ministry had coordinated the counting of votes with the Guardian Council and officials in polling stations throughout Iran, so the announcement of the final result will be swift and simultaneous.

Read more at Donya-e-Eqtesad

June 11, 2021

Voting Hours Between 7am and Midnight

The Guardian Council has announced that voting hours on election day, Friday June 18, would be from 7am to midnight. The time is slightly shorter than the extended hours announced by President Hassan Rouhani a month ago, who said voting hours have been extended to 7am to 3am the following morning to prevent crowding and comply with COVID restrictions.

Read more at Jamaran

June 4, 2021

Khamenei Complains of Disqualifications, Guardian Council Responds

In his address on the anniversary of Khomeini’s death, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei complained of the disqualification of some candidates, saying that some were unjustly disqualified and “persecuted” on false information about family, and should be compensated. The Guardian Council quickly responded with spokesman Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei tweeting that the Leader’s words were to be obeyed and that they would make an announcement soon. The reference to family made it clear that Khamenei was speaking about Ali Larijani. Later that evening, the Guardian Council issued a statement in which they agreed with the Leader’s comments, but said the “false” information had not influenced their decision making and so no changes would be made to the list of candidates. Ali Larijani then published a handwritten letter to the Supreme Leader, in which he thanked him for “demanding the elimination of oppression and persecution as occurred in the examination of the qualifications of presidential candidates” before praising his “greatness, magnanimity and spirit of righteousness of the Imam (Khomeini)”.

Read report at BBC Persian

June 1, 2021

Guardian Council Implies Hemmati Could Be Disqualified

Following remarks made by Abdol-Naser Hemmati on air in which he criticised the harassment of women for not observing proper hijab, Ahmad Khatami, a senior clerical member of the Guardian Council said Hemmati’s comments went against Islamic rules on women and the veil in public places, and warned Hemmati that he should be careful since adherence to Islam is legally necessary for candidates in elections. Several commentators interpreted this as a threat that Hemmati, who is shaping up as the main challenger to front-runner Ebrahim Raisi, may be disqualified before election day. These commentators linked Ahmad Khatami’s comments to a statement on May 7 by another Guardian Council member, Hadi Tahan Nazif, that candidates can be disqualified during the campaign period if it is determined by the Guardian Council that they are no longer eligible. For his part, Hemmati said that he will not censor himself, even if it risks his disqualification, and he is merely reflecting the views of the majority of the people.

Read Ahmad Khatami’s comments at Didbaniran
Read Hemmati’s response at ILNA

May 28, 2021

Kadkhodaei: I Spoke to Amoli Larijani about his Remarks

Spokesperson for the Guardian Council, Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, mentioned that he had spoken to Guardian Council member Amoli Larijani, the brother of disqualified candidate Ali Larijani, about comments he made regarding the list of candidates. On Tuesday May 25, the day of the announcement of the list of candidates, Amoli Larijani said that the security services had fed the Guardian Council false information in order to pressure them to disqualify candidates, adding that he had never encountered a more “indefensible” decision made by the Council. Kadkhodaei said that he spoke to Amoli Larijani about the need to avoid damage to the Islamic Republic, but added that “ultimately, I am not responsible for his (Amoli Larijani’s) words”.

Read more at Khabaronline

May 27, 2021

Khamenei Backs Guardian Council

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in an address to members of the Majles, backed the Guardian Council’s decision making in determining the electoral list, thanking candidates for nominating, especially those who did not complain when they were disqualified. Khamenei also issued a stern warning to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying that those who were once leaders of the country should not restyle themselves as a kind of opposition, adding that those who do will be held accountable. 

Watch a Khamenei’s speech at Khamenei.ir

May 27, 2021

Saeed Mohammad issues Statement on Disqualification

Saeed Mohammad issued a statement about his disqualification two days after the official list was announced, saying that the Guardian Council’s decision was binding and that he was willing to offer his help for the good of the system, particularly the conservative establishment.

Read more at Khabaronline

May 26, 2021

Motahari Criticises Disqualifications

On Twitter, Ali Motahari criticised the Guardian Council for its widespread disqualification of presidential candidates, saying that “system of the Republic is in danger”. Motahari, who was himself disqualified, added that the Principalists should be more vocal, since while the disqualifications favour them, at some point in the future the system will turn on them. Motahari’s account has since been suspended by Twitter.

Read more at Aftab