April 26, 2021
Leaked Interview with Zarif
A 3-hour interview with Foreign Minister, and potential candidate, Mohammad-Javad Zarif was leaked today, in which Zarif accuses the Russians of trying to sabotage the JCPOA agreement in 2015. Zarif also ruminates on the competing objectives of his office with the interests of Qasem Soleimani and the Quds Force. Zarif also comments on Ahmadinejad’s attempt to talk to the Americans about nuclear issues without first seeking the permission of the Supreme Leader, adding that “Death to America is just another slogan for Ahmadinejad”. The Foreign Ministry has called the leaked audio “distorted and fragmented”.
April 25, 2021
“Ahmandinejad Doesn’t Want to be Approved as a Candidate”
Political analyst Naser Imani believes that Ahmadinejad is not seeking to be approved for election, and he is instead lobbying for future leadership beyond the election. Imani noted that “any candidate who wants to be confirmed has been hiding their radical positions for at least four or five months, but Ahmadinejad does not want to be President and wants the Guardian Council to disqualify him, so he can take an even tougher stance”. Instead, Imani said, Ahmadinejad is creating an opposition to the government in Iran.
April 22, 2021
Sadegh Khalilian Nominates for Election
Another Ahmadinejad era minister, Sadegh Khalilian, has indicated they will register as a Presidential candidate. Khalilian served as Minister for Agriculture in both terms of the Ahmadinejad government, and was a key figure in the subsidy plans of the era. Khalilian has indicated he is running as an independent.
April 15, 2021
Ahmadinejad denies Hashemi’s Claim
The Office of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued a statement denying claims made by Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani on Tuesday night, that he had asked her to be his Vice-Presidential candidate on his campaign. The statement is as follows: “Ms Faezeh Hashemi's claim that Dr. Ahmadinejad's offered a coalition or first deputy to her are strongly and comprehensively denied”.
April 14, 2021
Hashemi: Ahmadinejad asked me to Run with Him
Prominent female candidate, Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani, told Hamshahri that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had asked her to run on his ticket as his Vice-President, but she had refused because of the events of the 2009 Election, particularly as Ahmadinejad had repeatedly insulted her father, former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, during that period. Hashemi said that “people might change, but if Mr. Ahmadinejad had changed, he should have first apologized” before approaching her.
April 12, 2021
Davari: Ahmadinejad considers himself as “God’s Guardian” and the “Yeltsin of Iran”
Abdol-Reza Davari, a journalist and former insider to Ahmadinejad’s administration, has turned on Ahmadinejad in recent years and today gave an outline of some of the former President’s behaviour which he deemed detrimental to the country. In an interview, he stated that the environment in Ahmadinejad’s inner circle was cult like, with no criticism allowed of the President, and that Ahmadinejad believed that the Islamic Republic would soon collapse, and he would be the Yeltsin of Iran. Davari also commented on Ahmadinejad’s “Mahdism”, where he sought to create the impression that he had a special relationship with the Mahdi as a strategy to undermine the religious authority of the Supreme Leader and the ideology of velayat-e faqih.
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.
April 10, 2021
Ahmadinejad: The Country’s Wealth must be Returned to the People
In a speech in Kerman, former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad decried the ownership of land and resources were out of most Iranian’s possession. Ruminating on the God-given nature of Iran’s wealth, Ahmadinejad said that Godless tyrants (taghut-ha) have been keeping Iranian people in a low level of development. The term “taghut” has a religious connotation and was used by Ayatollah Khomeini against his enemies. Ahmadinejad’s use was ambiguous, seemingly directed at the United States but also open to interpretation to mean “internal tyrants”. Ahmadinejad has been traversing the country, having appeared at events in Tehran, Lorestan and Kerman this past week, and continues to campaign while many cities are put into in lockdown.
April 4, 2021
Ali Nikzad to run for President
April 2, 2021
Ahmadinejad attends Meeting of Families of Martyrs
In Tehran, controversial potential candidate and former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended a meeting with the families of Iran-Iraq War martyrs from East Azerbaijan province. According to Ahmadinejad’s official Instagram account, these families bemoaned the poor leadership of the country and called upon Ahmadinejad to run for President and help solve the country’s problems.