June 16, 2021
Reformist candidate Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh has sent a letter to the Ministry of Interior announcing that he is withdrawing from the election. Although he did not mention any other candidates in his resignation letter, Abdol-Naser Hemmati thanked Mehr-Alizadeh for his resignation as did former President Mohammad Khatami, who then encouraged Reformists to vote for Hemmati.
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
Reformist Newspaper Editors Support Raisi
Ebrahim Raisi held a meeting with the editors of several Reformist-affiliated media outlets. The editors of Sharq, Donya-e-Eqtesad, the ISNA and several other Reformist-affiliates, alongside the editors of the IRNA news agency, praised Raisi’s performance as Chief Justice and his plans for president. Raisi ominously added in turn that no newspaper had ever been banned under his direction. The editors’ endorsement runs contrary to most other Reformists, who have supported either Abdul Nasser Hemmati or Mohsen Mehr Alizadeh.
June 15, 2021
Supreme Leader’s Brother Tells Hemmati and Mehr -Alizadeh to be Allies
Hadi Khamenei, brother of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, published an open letter to Abdol-Naser Hemmati and Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh, addressing them as “Reformists” and telling them form a coalition. Khamenei wrote to the two candidates that “your efforts in defence of the Republic and of reform for the transformation of the Iranian people are commendable… I ask you to form an alliance with each other and unite with the presence of one of the two of you in the race”. Khamenei said that Hemmati and Mehr-Alizadeh would set a good example to the people of Iran by doing so in service of their country.
June 15, 2021
Soroush supports Hemmati
Influential Muslim intellectual Abdol-Karim Soroush announced his support for Abdol-Naser Hemmati. Considered one of the key intellectuals behind the Reformist movement, Soroush has lived abroad for the past twenty years, as his criticism of clerical involvement in government was received with hostility by the regime. Soroush made mention of Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the two candidates placed under house arrest for their opposition to the 2009 election result, in his message of support for Hemmati. Soroush’s comments would mostly be aimed at educated voters with Reformist inclinations.
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 8, 2021
Mehr-Alizadeh is Reform Front Candidate
The Reform Front today endorsed Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh as their candidate in this election. The Reform Front had held meetings with both Mehr-Alizadeh and Abdol-Naser Hemmati, and decided to support Mehr-Alizadeh as he is a Reformist, while Hemmati has expressed a greater desire to run as an independent. The Reform Front had endorsed 14 candidates before the election, but none were approved to run in the campaign.
June 7, 2021
Zakani: I Am the Leader of the Reformists
Conservative candidate Ali-Reza Zakani described himself as the head of the Reformists, saying he has done a great deal towards reforming and transforming the country. However, he clarified what he meant by adding “if we consider the Reformists as a political sect, they have sabotaged so much that I believe society does not give acknowledge them”. Zakani also once again reacted angrily when asked if he was a cover candidate for Ebrahim Raisi.
June 6, 2021
Mehr-Alizadeh Documentary Airs, Censored
The first campaign documentary of Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh aired tonight, although parts of the original were censored. The removed sections amounted to 5-6 minutes of the 27 minute documentary, and included speeches by former Presidents Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami, and by disqualified candidates Mostafa Tajzadeh and Masoud Pezeshkian. The documentary focused on the disqualification of candidates and the backlash by voters. Mehr-Alizadeh had anticipated this censorship and had leaked a trailer earlier in the evening which included the sections that were eventually cut.
June 6, 2021
Ghazizadeh Capitalises on Debate Performance
Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi appeared on television today to reiterate his plans for government after his well-received performance in the electoral debate the night before. Ghazizadeh covered economic, social and political problems, stating that he believed in a rule of law and felt close to the people of Iran. On the issue of factionalism, he stated that “Iran’s main problem is not about being Principalist or Reformist, the problem is in the approach [to government]; there must be a transformation in the government”.