June 16, 2021
Motahari: Hemmati Likely to Win in Second Round
Disqualified candidate Ali Motahari said that “if all those who oppose [the decisions of] the Guardian Council and support free elections, including Reformists and Moderates, support Hemmati, then the chances that the elections will go to a second round are high”. Motahari encouraged Iranians to vote for Hemmati to “seize the remaining loophole of free elections”. Motahari said only through voting did Iranians have an opportunity to change the make-up of the current Guardian Council, and save their system. Some unsourced polls published earlier claimed that Hemmati could win the election with a turnout of 57%.
May 26, 2021
Motahari Criticises Disqualifications
On Twitter, Ali Motahari criticised the Guardian Council for its widespread disqualification of presidential candidates, saying that “system of the Republic is in danger”. Motahari, who was himself disqualified, added that the Principalists should be more vocal, since while the disqualifications favour them, at some point in the future the system will turn on them. Motahari’s account has since been suspended by Twitter.
May 13, 2021
Ali Motahari Registers
Prominent conservative figure Ali Motahari was the most well-known candidate to register today. When asked if he would step aside for any candidate, he responded: “I enter the election independently and the Reformist consensus body did not pay attention to me”. Motahari, who has been known for controversial statements in recent weeks regarding the personal freedoms of women, sought to counter this image by saying he was opposed to the prohibition of women cycling.
May 4, 2021
Ardabil Imam Criticises Candidates Comments on Hijab
The Friday Imam and representative of the Supreme Leader in Ardabil criticised candidates who say that the hijab is not mandatory. The Prayer leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Hasan Ameli, made the comments at a gathering for Qadr night, one of the holiest nights of Ramadan, and the anniversary of the assassination of the First Imam of Shi’ism, Ali. Ayatollah Ameli’s comments were most likely allusions to candidates such as Ali Motahari and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who have made controversial statements regarding the hijab laws of Iran.
April 28, 2021
Motahari: If I am Not Qualified, I Don’t Know Who Is
Controversial candidate Ali Motahari told Fararu today that he expects his candidacy to be approved by the Guardian Council, saying “If I am not a rajol-e siasi [political person], I don’t know who is”. Motahari’s comments were in response to a question regarding his previous disqualification for running for parliament, and referenced the constitutional term believed to have been used in the past to exclude women. In the same interview, Motahari said that he expected the nuclear issue to be resolved soon, after which the situation in Iran should improve.
April 24, 2021
Motahari: Hijab is Optional but 80% Accept It
Ali Motahari said that the hijab is optional in Iran, but 80% of Iranians support it. He added that the 20% who do not should not be interfered with. Motahari’s comments are in the context of a recent Clubhouse appearance where he compared non-veiling to nudity and made some racist and misogynistic comments regarding male attention to women. Motahari’s statement that the hijab is optional do not correspond with Iranian law.
April 15, 2021
Motahari: I Oppose Clerics in Executive Positions
Ali Motahari, in commenting on Hassan Khomeini’s announcement that the Supreme Leader had asked him not to run for president, said that he believed this was the right decision: “I personally oppose clerics being placed in government executive positions, especially in the Presidency, whether Seyyed Hassan Khomeini or others”. The past four out of five Iranian Presidents have all been clerics.
April 9, 2021
Motahari: I was taken out of context.
In his first remarks since his controversial appearance on Clubhouse on Wednesday, Ali Motahari stated that out of a nearly three hours discussion, only five minutes had been torn apart by the media. He added that “I will not be strict on the hijab if elected” contrary to what was being reported. He also took a swipe at Mohammad-Javad Zarif, saying that he was suited for the Foreign Ministry and “does not have the skin” to be President.
April 8, 2021
Motahari makes bizarre misogynistic and racist comments on Clubhouse
In an appearance on Clubhouse, candidate Ali Motahari commented on women’s rights, polygamy, veiling and sexuality. On the issue of hijab, Motahari stated “I do not see the hijab as a choice, and I do not believe in freedom for it [being a choice]. I do not consider being half-naked to be a human freedom, and I consider it an instinctive animal freedom.” On male sexuality, he added, “It is good that our youth are aroused by seeing the hand of a woman. Now in Europe, they [youth] have a problem with this issue, they are not aroused. Men are not aroused, and women turn to African men”. On the campaign trail, it is likely that Motahari, who often makes controversial remarks, set out to get attention through his comments.
April 1, 2021
Motahari denies Rumours about Qasemi’s Assassination Attempt
Potential candidate Ali Motahari denied that he was planning to sue another potential candidate, Rostom Qasemi, for allegedly manufacturing an assassination attempt in Lebanon on March 24. Rumours of the lawsuit had been circulating online and in the Turkish press for a few days. Motahari said he had no reason to be involved in the issue, and as far as he is concerned, Qasemi is an honest person.