May 23, 2021
Afshar Stands Aside for Raisi
Conservative candidate Ali-Reza Afshar announced he was withdrawing from the election race. Afshar said in a statement that “Raisi is at the forefront of all polls, has top management credentials, is a model of humility, simplicity and democracy, and he promises to form an effective government to address the people's problems in all areas. I consider it my duty to accompany and assist him”.
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 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 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.