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.
May 23, 2021
Ahmadinejad Appears on Clubhouse
Controversial candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appeared on Clubhouse twice today. His first appearance was a Q&A session where he fielded difficult questions about the 2009 election protests. However, in a characteristic move, he denied responsibility for the post-election crackdown on Reformists, adding that the famous murder of protestor Neda Agha Soleiman in the street, the video of which went viral, was an international conspiracy, and she was not murdered by forces loyal to him. In the second session, breaking with the conventions of Clubhouse, a pre-recorded video of Ahmadinejad discussing his economic plans was played with no questions allowed, leading to a backlash on social media.
May 20, 2021
Police: We will Suffocate any Sedition
The deputy commander of Iran’s police, Qasem Rezaei, said that they are working towards providing a peaceful environment for the election and are vigilant against any “foreign” attempts to disrupt the elections by inciting the “passions” of the people. Rezaei added that “if any seditionist, regardless of their title or the clothes they wear, wants to disturb the peace of the people, we will suffocate it at its seed”. The term “sedition” has religious connotations and is the general term used to label the 2009 post-election protests.
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.