June 15, 2021
Rezaei in Clubhouse Q&A
Mohsen Rezaei appeared on a Clubhouse Q&A session this evening to promote his campaign. Rezaei promised to resolve the JCPOA nuclear agreement immediately upon taking office and to sign the FATF once sanctions are lifted. Rezaei said he would improve the process for vetting presidential candidates by providing “specialised tools” to the Guardian Council and promised to better manage internet filtering but not eliminate it. Rezaei also promised to include Sunni Iranians in his cabinet.
June 9, 2021
Hemmati: I Will Meet Directly with US President
Abdol-Naser Hemmati told Associated Press that if elected, he would be willing to meet directly with US President Joe Biden. Hemmati added that the US would have to return to the JCPOA first, meaning lifting sanctions, without any additional restrictions being added to the existing nuclear deal. Aside from a phone conversation between Rouhani and Obama in 2013, no Iranian leader has had a direct interaction with an American leader since the Revolution.
June 1, 2021
Zakani: I Am Not Against JCPOA Negotiations
Ali-Reza Zakani today said that he is not opposed to negotiations over the JCPOA, but he is against decisions made in twenty minutes, adding that “today’s talks in Vienna are the last auction of the Rouhani administration”.
May 28, 2021
Zakani: The US will Beg to Lift Sanctions
Ali-Reza Zakani said in an online interview, that once elected, the United States would beg Iran to return to the JCPOA, and this would mean the lifting of sanctions. Despite describing the JCPOA as a defective agreement, Zakani said that the US is desperate to return to it, and he would be able to facilitate to Iran’s advantage. In the same interview Zakani was asked about his wealth, where he revealed that he and his wife own three properties in Tehran and Qom.
May 22, 2021
Larijani Engages in Media Blitz
As part of a strategy to grab and hold newspaper headlines, Ali Larijani had another day of blitzing the media and social media. Larijani gave an interview with Lebanese news channel Al-Mayadeen in which he stated that he decided to run in the elections because the candidates were all the same and Iranian voters deserved an actual choice. Larijani also spoke positively of Iran’s foreign policy engagement, particularly the new deal with China, and making progress in negotiations with Saudi Arabia and the United States. Later in the day, Larijani engaged Saeed Jalili in a Twitter argument in which Jalili accused Larijani of wanting drama and not to solve problems, while Larijani labelled Jalili an “aide to the election”, referring to rumours that he will stand aside for Ebrahim Raisi.
Read a summary of Larijani’s interview with Al-Madayeen at Eghtesad News
Read about Larijani and Jalili’s Twitter argument at Donya-e-Eqtesad
May 12, 2021
Zarif Will Not Run
Mohammad-Javad Zarif travelled to Syria today in a strong indication that he did not intend to register. Hours later, he released a statement on Instagram where he stated unequivocally that he will not register, adding that “my candidacy would be at the cost of destroying national cohesion, the self-confidence, hope and trust of the people”. Zarif requested that he now be left to pursue the JCPOA and ending sanctions for Iran, and that the issue of his candidacy (and by implication the leaked audio file) be put aside.
May 8, 2021
Kavakebian: Elections should not be tied to JCPOA
Mostafa Kavakebian today said that the elections should not be tied to the talks currently under way in Vienna to revive the nuclear deal. He added that the negotiations should not become a partisan issue, and the success of negotiations, despite which faction is responsible, is a victory for the entire nation.
May 8, 2021
Saeed Mohammad gives First Press Conference
Saeed Mohammad gave his first press conference of the campaign today, covering a wide range of issues including the JCPOA, economic mismanagement and the sanctions. Mohammad stated that while he had been invited by the Unity Council to run as one of their candidates, he was in essence an independent. However, if another candidate, such as Ebrahim Raisi, proves more popular than him, he will stand aside. He also lashed out at those who had spread rumours about him, and challenged anyone who had any accusation to publish evidence with their claims.
May 8, 2021
Rouhani Claims Some Sanctions are Lifted
Speaking on the JCPOA, President Hassan Rouhani said that the United States and European countries have agreed to list sanctions effective immediately, without elaborating on the specifics. He added that the negotiations were ongoing, but only in order to sort out some specific details of the agreement.
May 7, 2021
Return to JCPOA a “Political Decision” from Iran
An anonymous official from the US State Department said on Thursday that the prospects of a return to the nuclear deal are entirely in Iran’s hands. He said that the US was committed to the JCPOA but ultimately the success of the negotiations were a “political decision” that will have to be made in Iran.