June 9, 2021
Raisi Holds Rally in Ahvaz
Ebrahim Raisi held a rally in Ahvaz, Khuzestan, an oil rich city in the south west of Iran. Notification of the rally went out on text message a few hours before, calling supporters to gather at 8pm at Takhti Stadium. Raisi’s headquarters said that the rally was held in accordance to COIVD rules, although images and footage from the rally seem to contradict this. Further north, in Hamedan, disqualified candidate Rostam Ghasemi held rallies in three towns on Raisi’s behalf. Ghasemi, like another disqualified candidate, Saeed Mohammad, it believed to have put his support behind Raisi’s campaign in exchange for a future senior role.
May 30, 2021
Saeed Mohammad Mayor of Tehran?
Speculation rose today that number of disqualified candidates may be parachuted into the role of Mayor of Tehran, with Saeed Mohammad at the top of the list. The rumoured names also included Hossein Dehghan and Rostam Ghasemi both of whom, like Saeed Mohammad, have given their support to Ebrahim Raisi since standing down or being disqualified. Local council elections will take place throughout Iran on the same day as the Presidential election.
May 27, 2021
Saeed Mohammad issues Statement on Disqualification
Saeed Mohammad issued a statement about his disqualification two days after the official list was announced, saying that the Guardian Council’s decision was binding and that he was willing to offer his help for the good of the system, particularly the conservative establishment.
May 15, 2021
Ali Larijani Registers
Former Speaker of the Majles (2008-2020), Ali Larijani, who had mostly remained distant from discussions of the election, was the surprise registration on the final day. Larijani said he was reluctant to nominate but felt compelled by the state of the candidates, saying that the Presidency required an experienced politician, as the “economy is neither a barracks nor a court room”, a clear swipe at Saeed Mohammad and Ebrahim Raisi. Saeed Mohammad hit back on Twitter saying that “the era of aristocratic families is over”, a reference to the senior roles held by Larijani and his two brothers. Larijani is a conservative but is expected to pick up votes from followers of more moderate and Reformist candidates. Almost immediately, the social media networks of Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, who was barred from nominating due to his young age, were directly their supporters to back Ali Larijani.
May 11, 2021
Khamenei Clarifies “Young Revolutionary Government” Statement
In a meeting with university students, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that in his statement last year, that the next President should be a “young hezbollahi” overseeing a “young Revolutionary government”, he did not mean “a government in which all members are in the age group of 30 to 35 years”. Khamenei’s statement last year has been seized upon by supporters of Saeed Mohammad as an endorsement of their candidate. Khamenei seemed to distance his words from Saeed Mohammad while also bringing his statements in line with the Guardian Council’s recent changes to the vetting of candidates which prohibits registrations of people under 40.
May 11, 2021
Saeed Mohammad Registers
Saeed Mohammad registered his candidacy just after 10am, saying his early registration represented his “determination to participate in the elections”. Mohammad arrived in a suit rather than military uniform, saying that he was running as an independent and would not be subject to any faction, adding that “the country has suffered many blows from the bipolar atmosphere of society. My basis is meritocracy”.
May 10, 2021
Saeed Mohammad: I Do Not Expect IRGC Support
Saeed Mohammad made it clear today that he does not expect any support from the IRGC for his campaign: “The Revolutionary Guards is a military institution and I do not expect the IRGC to support me in the Presidential elections”. Mohammad added that he appreciated that this was reflective of the nature of the IRGC which is “not legally allowed to support anyone in elections”. Mohammad had previously clashed with current members of the IRGC who disputed the circumstances of his resignation from the Corps.
May 8, 2021
Saeed Mohammad gives First Press Conference
Saeed Mohammad gave his first press conference of the campaign today, covering a wide range of issues including the JCPOA, economic mismanagement and the sanctions. Mohammad stated that while he had been invited by the Unity Council to run as one of their candidates, he was in essence an independent. However, if another candidate, such as Ebrahim Raisi, proves more popular than him, he will stand aside. He also lashed out at those who had spread rumours about him, and challenged anyone who had any accusation to publish evidence with their claims.
May 8, 2021
Guardian Council releases 12 Criteria for a Candidates
The Guardian Council has released its twelve criteria for the presidential candidates for this election. In addition to the military rank condition, which will exclude Saeed Mohammad, the age restriction of 40-75, which will exclude Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi and Mohammad Gharazi, and the criminal record condition, which will exclude Mostafa Tajzadeh, the conditions also include not being affiliated with the 2009 “sedition”, meaning having shown now support for the protests during the disputed election result of that year.
May 2, 2021
Saeed Mohammad Says Trolls Sabotaging his Social Media
Saeed Mohammad argued that systematic attempts to sabotage his campaign on social media were a regular occurrence, stating that in one 24 hour period, 350 social media pages supportive of his campaign were removed. Mohammad even said an individual in northern Iran pretended to be his campaign manager and had a number of supportive pages removed. Mohammad’s campaign have been complaining about his pages being removed from social media for more than a month, and previously blamed foreign actors such as American and Israeli troll armies. This is the first time he has directly blamed actors in Iran.