May 20, 2021
Molaverdi: We Are Fighting to Prove that Women are also Rajol-e Siasi
In commenting on Zahra Shojaei’s nomination for President, lawyer and Presidential advisor Shahindokht Molaverdi wrote on Instagram: “Unfortunately, in 1400 (2021), in the 21st century, we still see that being a man is considered a criterion for being human”. Molaverdi added that “the registration of Zahra Shojaei is a serious test for the Guardian Council; she is a political and religious figure (shakhsiyat-e siasi va mazhabi). Let women be among political people (rejal-e-siasi) andmen so that they can enjoy their most basic human right, which is the right to be elected”.
May 5, 2021
Guardian Council Changes Presidential Law
The Guardian Council, which vets the candidates, has notified the Ministry of Interior, which is responsible for managing the election, that it has added new conditions for candidates this election. This includes that candidates will have to be between the ages of 40 and 75, a ruling that will exclude candidate Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi. A second condition is that candidates cannot have a criminal history, which will exclude several potential candidates, such as Reformist Mostafa Tajzadeh, and two female candidates, Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani and Shahindokht Molaverdi. The Guardian Council had been trying to change the Presidential law for more than six months but has been blocked by the Parliament.
May 2, 2021
Reform Front Announces List; Immediately Runs into Problems
The Reform Front released an initial list of 13 candidates that they will endorse in this election (in order): Mohammad-Javad Zarif; Eshaq Jahangiri; Mostafa Tajzadeh; Masoud Pezeshkian; Mohammad-Reza Aref; Mohsen Hashemi; Mohammad Shariatmadari; Mostafa Kavakebian; Mahmoud Sadeghi; Zahra Shojaei; Shahindokht Molaverdi; Abbas Akhundi; and Sadegh Kharazi. Among the names are two women (Shojaei and Molaverdi) and three members of the Rouhani administration not associated with the Reform movement (Zarif, Jahangiri and Molaverdi). Already, the list has run into trouble. In addition to Zarif’s ongoing problems, Abbas Akhundi was named as a defendant in an indictment for a corruption trial, the news of which was published 30 minutes before the release of the Reform Front’s candidate list.
April 12, 2021
Tejarat Covers Women Candidates
Tejarat published an analysis on the possibility of women candidates in this election. In previous elections, women have been able to nominate but have never been approved, partially due to the wording of the Constitutional law on the criteria for President, the meaning of which is in dispute. Last year, a spokesperson for the Guardian Council, Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, said that women were not excluded by law, although it has been unclear whether this was his personal opinion or that of the Guardian Council. So far, two women, Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani and Sara Fadaei, both academics, have announced their candidacy, but the analysis also speculated that several other women might nominate. These include Elham Aminzadeh (former Vice President for Legal Affairs), Masoumeh Ebtekar (Vice President for Women and Families), Shahindokht Molaverdi (former Rouhani cabinet member), Zahra Nejad-Bahram (Tehran city councillor), and Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi (former Ahmadinejad cabinet minister). Faezeh Hashemi is the most prominent to nominate so far, although she does not expect to be approved: “Since I have a prison record, and am facing another case and a sentence, I will definitely be disqualified. But since I believe in women registering for elections, I will do so symbolically”.