June 17, 2021
COVID Safe Protocols for the Election
Due to the ongoing COVID situation and danger of another wave, the Ministry of Health outlined its protocols for the election. Where possible, voting will be held in open spaces, and social distancing of 1.5 to 2 metres will be enforced. The wearing of masks at polling stations is mandatory and hand sanitiser will be provided. The entrance and exit of polling stations must be separate, and during voting and the counting of votes, proper ventilation must be provided.
June 13, 2021
Hemmati: I Do Not Have A Serious Competitor in this Election
Abdol-Naser Hemmati said today that he did not have a serious competitor among the other six candidates, and his only serious competitor was apathy towards the ballot box. Hemmati said he knew many Iranians were disillusioned because of the politicisation of the economy at the expense of good economic management and the disaster of COVID, and promised to use his expertise to improve both situations.
June 13, 2021
Raisi Cancels Trip to Isfahan
Ebrahim Raisi cancelled a plan campaign visit to Isfahan today, citing concern over public health. Raisi had come under criticism for holding a rally of thousands in Ahvaz last Wednesday despite the pandemic situation in Iran.
June 9, 2021
Raisi Holds Rally in Ahvaz
Ebrahim Raisi held a rally in Ahvaz, Khuzestan, an oil rich city in the south west of Iran. Notification of the rally went out on text message a few hours before, calling supporters to gather at 8pm at Takhti Stadium. Raisi’s headquarters said that the rally was held in accordance to COIVD rules, although images and footage from the rally seem to contradict this. Further north, in Hamedan, disqualified candidate Rostam Ghasemi held rallies in three towns on Raisi’s behalf. Ghasemi, like another disqualified candidate, Saeed Mohammad, it believed to have put his support behind Raisi’s campaign in exchange for a future senior role.
June 9, 2021
Health Minister Complains of COVID Politics
The Minister for Health, Dr Saeed Namaki, criticised candidates for their COVID management platforms, saying that by doing so, they were turning an issue that affected the peoples’ well-being into a factional political matter. Namaki spoke of the victims of four waves of the pandemic that has hit Iran, adding that “I am the Minister of Health of all the people of this land: Shia, Sunni, Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian, atheist, Principalist, Reformist, factionless and even a prisoner sentenced to death – people must accept that the Minister of Health is not political”.
June 4, 2021
Hemmati: Zarif is a Strong Patriotic Diplomat
Abdol-Naser Hemmati described Mohammad-Javad Zarif as a “strong and patriotic diplomat”, adding that if the outgoing Foreign Minister does not want to be part of his government, he will always benefit from his advice. In the Clubhouse session, Hemmati positioned himself as a strong actor on foreign policy, saying “interaction (with the West) does not mean compromise” and stating that his first priority was to increase the importation of COVID vaccines to the country. Read more at IRNA
May 31, 2021
Fingerprinting Banned on Election Day
The Ministry of Health released a new health protocol today in which they banned the practice of fingerprinting voters on election day. In addition to enforcing social distancing at election booths, voters are also encouraged to bring their own pen when voting.
May 24, 2021
Election Hours Extended from 7am to 2am
Following President Hassan Rouhani’s announcement on Saturday that Election Day voting hours would be extended to cater for covid restrictions, today the National Corona Headquarters announced that polls will open at 7am on June 18 and close at 2am the following morning. The changes in hours are designed to prevent large crowds from queueing at polling stations as well as increasing the election turnout.
May 22, 2021
Rouhani: Ballot Boxes and Voting Hours will be Increased
President Hassan Rouhani today announced after a meeting with COVID headquarters, that the hours of voting and number of voting stations will be increased to cater for COVID restrictions.
May 16, 2021
Approved Candidates Announced on May 27
Jamal Araf, the head of the Electoral Board at the Ministry of Interior, told the media that the registered candidates have been sent to the Guardian Council for approval, and the expected result of their vetting is on the sixth of the Persian month of Khordad (May 27). However Araf added that the Guardian Council may make an announcement earlier if it takes less time. Only 592 people nominated for this election, down from 1,636 in the last election four years ago. This drop in numbers reflects the effect of COVID on the country, but also may reflect the general disillusionment in Iranian society regarding the political process.