June 11, 2021
Voting Hours Between 7am and Midnight
The Guardian Council has announced that voting hours on election day, Friday June 18, would be from 7am to midnight. The time is slightly shorter than the extended hours announced by President Hassan Rouhani a month ago, who said voting hours have been extended to 7am to 3am the following morning to prevent crowding and comply with COVID restrictions.
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 9, 2021
Molavi Abdol-Hamid Does Not Support Any Candidate…Yet
A spokesman for Molavi Abdol-Hamid Esma’il-Zahi, considered the most senior Sunni religious leader in Iran, said that the Friday Imam of the Zahedan Mosque has not determined if he will support any candidate at this stage. The question came after another senior Sunni leader endorsed Ebrahim Raisi this week, and amid rumours that Raisi’s campaign team had met with Abdol-Hamid in Zahedan at the end of May. Abdol-Hamid endorsed Hassan Rouhani in 2013, which led to a large percentage of Iran’s Sunni minority, especially in Baluchistan, to vote for him.
June 2, 2021
Mehr-Alizadeh Declares His Campaign Colour is Black
Reformist candidate Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh announced that he had chosen the colour black to represent his campaign, as a symbol of his empathy with Iranians who have died of COVID. Black also holds significance in Shi’ism as a colour of mourning for holy figures. The use of colours to represent campaigns has increased in elections in recent decades, with most notable examples being purple representing Hassan Rouhani’s campaign in 2013, and, more controversially, green representing Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s campaign in 2009.
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 30, 2021
Hemmati Dismissed as Governor of Central Bank
Abdul-Nasser Hemmati has been dismissed as Governor of the Central Bank of Iran. Speculation about his dismissal had been circulating for several days, and was implied by Hemmati himself during a Clubhouse appearance on Saturday night, with rumours that President Hassan Rouhani was not satisfied that Hemmati could fulfill the role while pursuing Presidential candidacy.
May 26, 2021
Rouhani Writes to Leader about Disqualifications.
President Hassan Rouhani said that on Tuesday night he wrote to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to express his reservations about the candidates disqualified from this election. Rouhani outlined his anxieties in the speech, saying “What will happen to our national cohesion if, God forbid, the presence in the elections is low?” He added that “The soul of elections is competition; if you take this from the elections, the body will become lifeless. The principle of elections is that there should be intense competition to form real elections”.
May 24, 2021
Election Hours Extended from 7am to 2am
Following President Hassan Rouhani’s announcement on Saturday that Election Day voting hours would be extended to cater for covid restrictions, today the National Corona Headquarters announced that polls will open at 7am on June 18 and close at 2am the following morning. The changes in hours are designed to prevent large crowds from queueing at polling stations as well as increasing the election turnout.
May 22, 2021
Rouhani: Ballot Boxes and Voting Hours will be Increased
President Hassan Rouhani today announced after a meeting with COVID headquarters, that the hours of voting and number of voting stations will be increased to cater for COVID restrictions.
May 13, 2021
Aref Declines to Run
A statement attributed to high-profile Reformist Mohammad Reza Aref is being circulated online which says he has withdrawn his candidacy. Aref served as First Vice-President in Mohammad Khatami’s government, but is rumoured to have fallen out with his former comrade over Khatami’s preference to endorse non-Reformist candidates on the Reformist ticket. Aref himself was pressured by Khatami to step aside for Rouhani in the 2013 election, which Aref did unwillingly.