May 21, 2021
Afshar: Don’t Underestimate the Reformists
Ali-Reza Afshar, the most high-profile regular army (non-IRGC) candidate, said in an interview with IRNA that the conservative Principalist faction should not underestimate the Reformists in this election. Afshar said “the Reformists are masters of duality, they direct the people to issues that have no effect on their livelihood or economic situation”. Afshar disputed the idea that larger turnouts favour the Reformists, adding that the election season should not descend into insults: “while striving for victory, we must be aware of immorality and espionage; we should speak of facts and not try to shape public opinion through deceit.
May 10, 2021
Saeed Mohammad: I Do Not Expect IRGC Support
Saeed Mohammad made it clear today that he does not expect any support from the IRGC for his campaign: “The Revolutionary Guards is a military institution and I do not expect the IRGC to support me in the Presidential elections”. Mohammad added that he appreciated that this was reflective of the nature of the IRGC which is “not legally allowed to support anyone in elections”. Mohammad had previously clashed with current members of the IRGC who disputed the circumstances of his resignation from the Corps.
May 2, 2021
Two New Candidates Announce Campaigns
Two new candidates announced they are running for President. Former IRGC and Basij officer Ali-Reza Afshar became the latest military candidate; as the former head of Iran’s Election Headquarters, Afshar has insider knowledge of the workings of the electoral system. The second candidate, Sadegh Khalilian, became the latest Ahmadinejad Era cabinet member to nominate; Khalilian has put forward a conservative anti-corruption economic platform alongside a general repudiation of the current administration’s policies.
April 24, 2021
Ghasemi Criticises the Department of Foreign Affairs
In a sign of continuing tension between the military and civilian arms of Iranian government, Rostam Ghasemi, who is a deputy economic directory of the Qods Force, criticised the Department of Foreign Affairs, saying “you have forgotten the policies of the Revolution”. Ghasemi had made comments earlier in the week regarding an Iranian military presence in Yemen which Foreign Affairs quickly denied, saying Iran’s support was only diplomatic.
April 17, 2021
Gharazi: The Iranian Nation does not Welcome the Military
Mohammad Gharazi said in an interview today that the Iranian people have learnt from history and they will not welcome a military candidate. Gharazi pointed to history as a warning: “Everything that was achieved in the Constitutional Revolution was destroyed by the military coup led by Reza Khan, and everything that the people achieved in the 1940s was destroyed by the Zahedi coup”. Gharazi presents himself as an independent candidate opposed to factionalism and cliques.
April 12, 2021
Ghasemi: I will be a President for all Iranians
Conservative candidate Rostam Ghasemi told Tasnim that if elected he would be a President for all Iranians, not just his supporters. Ghasemi also reiterated his slogan regarding candidates who lack experience in the Executive Branch of government: “If you have never sailed, how can you manage the ship of the Iranian economy?” Ghasemi also played down his connections to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, stating that he expects the former president to be a candidate, and added that he had along with other “military candidates” about not destroying each other’s reputations.