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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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. 

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