May 23, 2021
Jahangiri Invokes Khatami Victory
First Vice President and candidate Eshaq Jahangiri appealed to the Reformist movement on the Second of Khordad, the anniversary of Mohammad Khatami’s election victory in 1997. Jahangiri wrote on Twitter praising Khatami’s contribution to lessening threats to Iran and improving Iran’s domestic development, and called for a return to a period of internal reform. Although not a Reformist candidate, Jahangiri is appealing to the Reformist vote.
May 22, 2021
Jahangiri backs down from Debate
First Vice President and candidate Eshaq Jahangiri said that he would not engage in any candidate debates until after the official candidates list is announced on May 26 or 27. Jahangiri said that this was in accordance with the law which does not allow campaigning before the official list is announced. However, many are interpreting this as him backing down from a previous challenge to debate, a challenge that was enthusiastically taken up by Ezzatollah Zarghami on Friday. A rumour is also circulating that Jahangiri has been tipped off that he will not be among the approved candidates.
May 21, 2021
Zarghami accepts Jahangiri’s Call for Debate
Increasingly controversial conservative candidate Ezzatollah Zarghami became the first to respond to First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri’s call for a candidates’ debate. In response, Zarghami tweeted that “I welcome a television debate with you in all fields”.
May 17, 2021
Candidates launch slogans
Although approved candidates will not be announced until May 27, a number have already started circulating posters and promoting slogans. Ebrahim Raisi has styled his campaign as “a people’s government for a strong Iran”, appealing to his credentials as strong conservative with popular appeal. Ali Larijani has gone on the attack with “Neither the key nor the hammer”, which refers to the legal (key) candidates like Raisi, and military (hammer) candidates like Saeed Mohammad. Eshaq Jahangiri has gone for the more description “government of the nation to open the lives of the people and the development of Iran”, while Saeed Jalili has kept it simple with “real work not rhetoric”. Among the more creative slogans are Ezzatollah Zarghami’s “I am not Rouhani”, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “either I qualify or boycott the election”.
May 10, 2021
Jahangiri Accepts Reformist Endorsement
First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri held a meeting today with the Reform Front to formally accept their endorsement for his campaign. Jahangiri, along with Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif, are not Reformists and it was considered unlikely that they would accept the endorsement in the current environment. Neither Zarif nor Mohammad-Reza Aref, a veteran Reformist previously believed to have fallen out with his own faction, have accepted their endorsements, although FarsNews has reported that the Reform Front will continue to endorse these candidates through the registration and vetting process, if the two men choose to nominate.
May 9, 2021
Aref, Jahangiri and Zarif have not Responded to Reformist Endorsement
Eleven of the 14 candidates endorsed by the Reform Front last week have presented their plans for the Presidency and met with the Front. However, so far, no plan has been presented by Mohammad-Reza Aref, and the two top choices, current First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri and current Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif. The Reformist veteran Aref is known to have had a falling out with the leadership, particularly former President Mohammad Khatami. Jahangiri and Zarif are not part of the Reformist faction, and may not respond for this reason.
May 1, 2021
Jahangiri Appeal: Vote or Surrender your City
In a Clubhouse q-and-a, First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri encouraged all Iranians to vote (while being ambiguous about which election – Presidential or city council) saying “citizens know each other by the ballot box, and if they do not participate, the city may fall”. On the question of whether Jahangiri himself would run for President, he said “I never said I wouldn’t run, but I am a subordinate”, meaning that he cannot make the decision without the approval of more senior members of the government. The Clubhouse session was hosted by Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, who invited Jahangiri to Clubhouse, and attended by senior nuclear negotiator, Ali Akbar Salehi.
April 29, 2021
Jahangiri: Rejecting Candidates for Political Reasons Decreases Voter Turnout
First Vice President and rumoured candidate Eshaq Jahangiri told a meeting of governors and village leaders that they should not reject nominations from candidates for political reasons, as it “reduces the people’s choices and their motivation [to participate] in the elections”. Although speaking in the context of the local council elections, Jahangiri’s comments could also be interpreted as alluding to the Presidential election, which will take place on the same day. Jahangiri also spruiked his administration’s investment in rural economic programs, and the importance of village life to Iran, as one third of Iranians live in villages.
April 7, 2021
Kayhan Attacks First Vice-President
In a sign pf the blackening of reputations of political rivals in the lead up to the election, Kayhan, a newspaper close to the Office of the Supreme Leader, has launched an attack on First Vice-President and potential candidate Eshaq Jahangiri, accusing him of blackmailing rivals and failing in government. Jahangiri’s supporters have responded, arguing that the accusations made in Kayhan were either inaccurate or false.