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.
May 14, 2021
Fourth Day of Registrations
The fourth day of registrations was among the most controversial so far, with high-profile former political prisoner Mostafa Tajzadeh registering in the morning, a rumour of Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi’s plans to register in defiance of the Guardian Council (which never eventuated), and a number of members of the public whose registrations were symbolic, including a 22-year-old female university student and a Kurdish man in traditional costume who told reporters “no one can stop me from running because of my religion”, a clear reference to the exclusion of Sunni Muslims in Iran. Among other high-profile candidates registering today were IRGC officer Ali-Reza Afshar and Fereydoun Abbasi, the former head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation.
May 14, 2021
Kadkhodaei Visits Election HQ
Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, spokesman for the Guardian Council, arrived at election headquarters at 3pm to meet with officials of the Ministry of Interior. After the meeting, Kadkhodaei gave a speech in which he said “those who register for this election must provide documents contained in the Guardian Council’s resolution on candidates, otherwise their eligibility will not be checked”. Kadkhodaei’s comments were likely an indication that Mostafa Tajzadeh’s registration will be disqualified by the Ministry of Interior and not even considered by the Guardian Council. The timing of Kadkhodaei’s visit also may have been in response to rumours that Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, the Minister for Communications who was barred from this election, was due to arrive at 3:30pm in order to register in defiance of the Guardian Council.
May 14, 2021
Tajzadeh Registers, Defying Guardian Council
Mostafa Tajzadeh, a minister in the Khatami government and supporter of Mir-Hossein Mousavi in the 2009 election (for which he spent seven years in prison), nominated today. In a speech following his registration, Tajzadeh said “Mostafa Tajzadeh criticized the suppression of political and social freedoms, saying, "I oppose the filtering of the internet, and I oppose the need to obtain the right to engage in political activity, with approving oversight", and that he was opposed to laws that discriminate against women, particularly compulsory hijab. He also criticised what he called Iran’s “costly anti-American and pro-Russian foreign policy”. Tajzadeh is unlikely to even be considered for vetting by the Guardian Council since the overseeing body changed the rules to bar people with criminal records.
May 8, 2021
Guardian Council releases 12 Criteria for a Candidates
The Guardian Council has released its twelve criteria for the presidential candidates for this election. In addition to the military rank condition, which will exclude Saeed Mohammad, the age restriction of 40-75, which will exclude Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi and Mohammad Gharazi, and the criminal record condition, which will exclude Mostafa Tajzadeh, the conditions also include not being affiliated with the 2009 “sedition”, meaning having shown now support for the protests during the disputed election result of that year.
May 5, 2021
Guardian Council Changes Presidential Law
The Guardian Council, which vets the candidates, has notified the Ministry of Interior, which is responsible for managing the election, that it has added new conditions for candidates this election. This includes that candidates will have to be between the ages of 40 and 75, a ruling that will exclude candidate Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi. A second condition is that candidates cannot have a criminal history, which will exclude several potential candidates, such as Reformist Mostafa Tajzadeh, and two female candidates, Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani and Shahindokht Molaverdi. The Guardian Council had been trying to change the Presidential law for more than six months but has been blocked by the Parliament.
April 28, 2021
Hajjarian: Tajzadeh will be Disqualified
Reformist activist Saeed Hajjarian told Donya-e-Eqtesad that it is likely that Reformist candidate Mostafa Tajzadeh would be disqualified by the Guardian Council. However, Hajjarian added that Tajzadeh has had the opportunity to present his plans for reforming Iran, and this would give him the opportunity to organise a political party around this program after the election. Tajzadeh, who announced his candidacy on Sunday, was imprisoned for seven years after the 2009 election protests, adding to the controversy around his candidacy.
April 22, 2021
Karbaschi: Tajzadeh’s Nomination a “Good Test” for Iran
Prominent Reformist politician Gholam-Hossein Karbaschi, commented on rumours that former Khatami advisor Mostafa Tajzadeh is considering running for President, saying that if the Guardian Council were to approve Tajzadeh, it would be “a good test to see if the people opt for this kind of tone and speaking, or not”. Tajzadeh spent seven years in Evin prison as a result of his dissent during the 2009 post-election protests, and therefore his nomination would be significant. On Tuesday Tajzadeh tweeted that he was still consulting with friends and colleagues on whether he would nominate.