June 2, 2021
Hemmati Meets with Hassan Khomeini
Abdol-Nasser Hemmati met with Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini, for nearly 2 hours where the candidate discussed his plans for the presidency with the influential figure. Although he did not explicitly express support for Hemmati, the meeting was warm and Khomeini, who withdrew his candidacy at the request of the Supreme Leader, clearly still intends to play a role in this election.
May 26, 2021
Hassan Khomeini Criticises Disqualifications
Hassan Khomeini said of the disqualification of candidates that “any attempt to deny the republican element of the Islamic Republic is counter-revolutionary.” Khomeini, who is the grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini and did not nominate in these elections at the request of the Supreme Leader, added in a direct reference to the Guardian Council’s spokesperson that “anyone who says that the system remains legitimate even if the people do not participate in the elections, that person doesn’t know the spirit and nature of the Islamic Republic”.
May 11, 2021
Zarif meets with Khatami and Khomeini
Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif reportedly had a meeting today with former Reformist President Mohammad Khatami and prominent politician and cleric Hassan Rouhani to discuss his potential candidacy. Zarif, who has been endorsed by the Reform Front, reportedly informed Khatami and Khomeini that he will not register for these elections. Recently, Zarif has been subject to controversy due to a scandal involving a leaked audio file, and yesterday was alleged to have also sworn upon the Qur’an that he did not intend to run.
April 22, 2021
Namazi: “The Greatest Rival for All Candidates is Turnout”
Ali-Mohammad Namazi, a member of the Reformist Executives of Construction Party, told Donya-ye Eqtesad said “the most serious rival for Presidential candidates this time around is turnout. I think only about 20-25% of voters will participate”. Namazi points to a real fear that public dissatisfaction coupled with COVID restrictions will lead to an abysmally low turnout. In the same interview, Namazi stated that Hassan Khomeini’s decision to withdraw from nominating was disappointing for the Reformists, although there was still hope that Mohammad-Javad Zarif might run.
April 15, 2021
Motahari: I Oppose Clerics in Executive Positions
Ali Motahari, in commenting on Hassan Khomeini’s announcement that the Supreme Leader had asked him not to run for president, said that he believed this was the right decision: “I personally oppose clerics being placed in government executive positions, especially in the Presidency, whether Seyyed Hassan Khomeini or others”. The past four out of five Iranian Presidents have all been clerics.
April 13, 2021
Supreme Leader asked Hassan Khomeini not to run in elections
Hassan Khomeini stated today that the Supreme Leader had asked him not to run for President, according to the Iranian Labor News Agency. The grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini said that he had been encouraged by many Iranians who consider him the only one able to unite the country, but he had waited until he had spoken to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, about the issue. Khomeini that Khamenei addressed him as his son, and said it was not appropriate for him to run at this time.
April 10, 2021
Hassan Khomeini: “Inclusive” Elections will Return Iran to the People
Hassan Khomeini yesterday stated that for Iran to truly return to the people, it would need an inclusive election in which everybody was represented. His comments clearly were directed at hardline elements in the Guardian Council which vets candidates. Khomeini also took aim at censorship of social media, stating that the government’s attempts to filter Telegram had failed, and it was ludicrous that they would consider the same for other social media apps.
March 28, 2021
TV and Film Actress Azadeh Namdari Found Dead
Controversial television personality Azadeh Namdari was found dead in her home in Saadatabad, Tehran. Namdari had been banned from Iranian screens following her appearance abroad without hijab. Potential candidate Ayatollah Seyyed Hassan Khomeini shared her image on Instagram with the words “Rest in Peace”.