June 6, 2021
Mehr-Alizadeh Documentary Airs, Censored
The first campaign documentary of Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh aired tonight, although parts of the original were censored. The removed sections amounted to 5-6 minutes of the 27 minute documentary, and included speeches by former Presidents Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami, and by disqualified candidates Mostafa Tajzadeh and Masoud Pezeshkian. The documentary focused on the disqualification of candidates and the backlash by voters. Mehr-Alizadeh had anticipated this censorship and had leaked a trailer earlier in the evening which included the sections that were eventually cut.
May 10, 2021
Mehr-Alizadeh Announced Candidacy
The Way of the Nation Party announced prominent Reformist and former governor of Isfahan and Khorasan provinces, Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh, as their candidate in this election. Alongside Masoud Pezeshkian, Mehr-Ali-Zadeh is one of the most prominent ethnic Azeri candidates to so far enter the race. Ethnic Azeris make up between 20-25% of the population of Iran.
April 29, 2021
Pezeshkian: “I Will Withdraw if Public Opinion Demands It”
Masoud Pezeshkian told a gathering of university students from the Student Basij Organisation that he would withdraw from the election if public opinion demands it, or at the request of the Supreme Leader, but he would not withdraw for factional reasons. Pezeshkian, a Reformist who is popular with some conservative elements of Iranian society (particularly in Iranian Azerbaijan), told the students that he opposes “the view that sees the people as either good or bad. Anyone who works for the growth of this country is a basiji”, adding that his motto was that “knowledge, collectivity and faith are a triangle that moves mountains”.
April 26, 2021
Reformists Nominating their Own While Seeking Larijani
A spokesman from the Reform front told Tabnak that he had spoken to Gholam-Hossein Karbaschi, Masoud Pezeshkian and Mohammad-Reza Aref in recent days, and all had expressed their intentions to run for President. The Reformist movement is planning to announce several candidates for the election. However, as part of the usual horse-trading of elections, the spokesman added that they were also seeking Ali Larijani, who is not a Reformist, as a potential sympathetic high-profile candidate.
April 26, 2021
Four Reformist Candidate Celebrate Iftar Together
Three Reformist candidates – Mostafa Kavakebian, Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh and Masoud Pezeshkian – met in the office of a fourth, Mohsen Rahami, to celebrate iftar on Saturday night. The meeting, which was not advertised to the media, was allegedly to discuss the political situation in Iran and strategies for the Reformists in the Presidential election.
April 25, 2021
Pezeshkian Criticises “Extremists” on JCPOA
Candidate Masoud Pezeshkian criticised “extremists” for arguing for a delay in negotiations on the JCPOA until after the election, saying that these Iranian extremists were the same as Israeli and American opponents to the nuclear deal. Pezeshkian added that these extremists believe if the new deal is signed before the election then the Reformists will win the Presidency, and therefore their approach to the nuclear negotiations is through self-interest, not the national interest.
April 17, 2021
Pezeshkian: I will not step aside in favour of Larijani
Reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian stated in an interview that he would not step down as candidate in favour of former speaker of the Parliament, Ali Larijani. Pezeshkian’s comments reflect a controversy among Reformists about whether Reformists should stand aside to support moderate candidates. In 2013, the Reformist candidate Mohammad-Reza Aref stood down under pressure from senior Reformist who back moderate candidate Hassan Rouhani. In this election, non-Reformists like Ali Larijani and Mohammad-Javad Zarif are being considered as the Reformist choice, which has renewed the split in the movement.