Iran Live: The Presidential Election

Ben Offiler, , " />
By , , June 14, 2013 21:07 Updated

Iran Live: The Presidential Election

Photo: Supreme Leader casts his ballot in today’s Presidential election


0005 GMT: A Short Break

There is still no official movement, only the unofficial flutter from Mehr News that Hassan Rouhani is 1st and Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf 2nd in results so far.

But does this point to a surprise Rouhani majority — and thus first-round victory?

We will resume Live Coverage in a few hours.

2333 GMT: Rouhani Goes To Ministry of Interior

What could have prompted this visit by Hassan Rouhani to the Ministry of Interior?

2303 GMT: Blocking the News

BBC Persian claims that its campaign coverage is facing “interference” by Iranian authorities.

2246 GMT: Jalili’s Bold Claim…and Also One About Rouhani

The campaign of Saeed Jalili makes a bold but incomplete claim — they assert supremacy over Mohammad Baqer-Qalibaf, but what about Hassan Rouhani?

The campaign of reformist Mohammad Reza Aref, who pulled out in favour of Rouhani, is also dangling the prospect of excitement:

2221 GMT: Could Be A Long Wait

Salat Mortazavi, the head of the Electoral Commission, has said that there is “not enough information yet to release first results” and they will be released as soon as possible.

2216 GMT: The Supreme Leader’s Ballot Box

An interesting story from an EA correspondent….

The Young Journalists Club site briefly post, then removed, the results of the ballot box in which the Supreme Leader voted this morning: Saeed Jalili 200, Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf 124, everyone else 20.

2203 GMT: No Results Appear

It is now after 2:30 a.m. local time and the first official set of results — which were reportedly going to be released between 2 and 2:30 — have not appeared.

2157 GMT Rouhani Campaign Warn Of Anonymous Texts Alleging Election Fraud

The Rouhani campaign has warned about texts coming from anonymous sources that allege election fraud and say there is a possibility of demonstrations, former Presidential candidate Mohammad-Reza Aref tweeted:

2140 GMT: “No Victory Party”

The representatives of all six candidates, speaking from the Guardian Council, have issued a common pledge that they will not organised any victory parties.

2130 GMT: Final Results by 8 a.m. local (0330 GMT)?

The General Director of Fars tweets:

2040 GMT: A High Turnout?

State news agency IRNA claims that the turnout in Isfahan and Mazandaran Provinces was more than 90%.

2035 GMT: Rouhani Request for Later Polls Denied

The Rouhani committee asked for another extension of polls across Iran to midnight, but this was refused by the Ministry of Interior.

2032 GMT: 1st Results Announced Soon

The Ministry of Interior has said that the first set of official results will be released at 2 a.m. local time (2130 GMT).

2002 GMT: Ministry of Interior Website Down?

Make of this what you will — EA and its correspondents have not been able to load the website of the Ministry of Interior, which is central in the oversight of the election, has been down since this morning.

1947 GMT: Rezaei Reflects: In These Elections, Voters Evaluated Candidates

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Independent Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei reflects on his Facebook account that the “political knowledge and belief of the Iranian people has progressed”, because for the first time, voters cast ballots after evaluating candidates, instead of out of a desire to support a person to make waves.

1934 GMT: Rouhani Tweeting Results (That Show Him Ahead)

Presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani — like his rival Saaed Jalili — is tweeting results that put him in the lead:

1930 GMT: Jalili Tweeting Village Results (That Show Him Ahead)

Presidential candidate Saeed Jalili is tweeting election results from villages — in all but one case (the most recent tweet) selecting those that show him ahead.

1830 GMT: Polls Now Closed Across Iran

1730 GMT: Candidates’ Representatives Satisfied With Electoral Process

Representatives of all six presidential candidates have issued a joint statement expressing their satisfaction with the electoral process and calling on their supporters to not engage in any premature celebrations.

The statement read, “Individuals falsely linked to the campaign staff’s of the 11th presidential election have spread rumors about calls to hold celebrations, or proposals to employ unusual methods referred to as ‘protecting votes’ (sianat az ara, term much used in 2009). […] We ask the Iranian nation to not pay any attention to these rumors and to not congregate in any way other than to vote before the relevant the authorities announce the official results […].”

1640 GMT: Voting Extended Again

The Ministry of Interior has extended voting hours for a fourth time, to 11 p.m. local (1830 GMT) in Tehran Province.

1624 GMT: Former VP Backs Rouhani

Masoumeh Ebtekar, vice-president to reformist Mohammad Khatami, declared her support for Hassan Rouhani and stated “I don’t think there will be a second run. I hope not.”

1603 GMT: Early Results 06:00 Saturday?

Bloomberg’s Ladane Nasseri reports state TV as suggesting that early results might be released tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. local time (0130 GMT)

1559 GMT: State Media Proclaims Election A Success

As part of its effort to demonstrate the presidential election’s legitimacy, PressTV is reporting that turnout is predicted to hit 70 per cent.

It also quotes Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani, who led today’s Tehran Friday Prayers, who said “The quality of elections in the Islamic Republic is different from other countries in that … elections in our country are meant to [offer] support to the Islamic establishment.” According to Kashani therefore, “A maximum voter turnout in elections helps the Islamic establishment to push ahead with its stances in the international arena.”

Keen to show that the elections have been free and fair, PressTV also notes that 250 residents of Iran and 205 foreign reporters have travelled to Iran to cover the election, in addition to the over 2,000 local reporters. It does not mention how many foreign journalists were denied visas to cover the election.

1546 GMT: Fars News Director “Runoff Likely”

Abas Aslani, general director for Fars News, has indicated for the first time that a runoff is likely to occur. He also noted that state TV is prepared to organise further televised debates between the two men who top today’s election polls and make it to next Friday’s runoff vote.

1531 GMT: Voting Deadline Extended Again

PressTV reports that the voting deadline has been extended for a second time by an hour until 9pm local time (1630 GMT).

1508 GMT: Local Rouhani Campaign Manager Attacked

Youness Mehdipour, Hassan Rouhani’s local campaign manager in Fasa (near Shiraz), Fars Province, was attacked by a “number of unknown assailants,” according to The Iranian Labor News Agency.

The attackers allegedly threw acid on his face after having assaulted him in the street. Mehdipour has been transferred to the town’s hospital with serious injuries.

1401 GMT: If You Don’t Vote, Don’t Complain — Aref Calls On Iranians Abroad To Vote

Former Presidential candidate and reformist politician Mohammad-Reza Aref tweets this image of Iranians lining up to vote in London and calls on Iranians living abroad to go vote:

1357 GMT: Voting Extended 2 Hours

The Interior Ministry has confirmed that voting hours have been extended until 8PM local time (1530 GMT).

1355 GMT: “Rouhani’s Ahead; Qalibaf’s Ahead”

Figures close to presidential candidates Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf and Hassan Rouhani offer two contrasting assessments as they attempt to put their own spin on the election’s progress so far. A senior adviser to Qalibaf told Najmeh Bozorgmehr that he was “slightly ahead [of Rouhani] but largely ‘neck to neck’.” Meanwhile, a senior politician close to Rafsanjani and Rouhani earlier told Bozorgmehr that the moderate candidate “is far ahead of Qalibaf across the country.”

 

 

1350 GMT: Ahmadinejad to Iranian People “I Trust You”

President Ahmadinejad, before his belated vote, had put out a statement to the Iranian people, “I trust your wit and believe you know how to choose.”

1330 GMT: Rafsanjani Casts His Vote

Former president Hashemi Rafsanjani is pictured casting his vote in front of an enormous image of Ayatollah Khomeini. Rafsanjani’s two sons and daughter, Fatemeh Hashemi, voted this morning. rafsanjani votes 2013

1312 GMT: Ahmadinejad Votes

After a prolonged delay — Presidents normally vote early on the morning of Election Day — Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has finally appeared to cast his ballot. arash khamooshi (1 of 2)-4 Pro-government outlet IRNA offered no information beyond the short report that Ahmadinejad had cast his vote.

1311 GMT Rezaei’s Spokesman: Turnout Huge

Shahram Gilabadi, a spokesman for independent Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei has said that, based on information from polling stations, the election will go to the second round. “Everything is going smoothly and the turn out has been huge,” Gilabadi said.

1125 GMT: Voting Hours Extended

Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar has said the voting hours for the presidential and local council elections will be extended tonight.

1116 GMT: Rouhani “Purple Vote is the Preamble to the Green”

The campaign team for presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani has tweeted a series of positive messages, including a cryptic one which translates as: “Let’s do something to celebrate success tomorrow; the day that our purple vote is the preamble to the green.” By suggesting that the purple vote — the colour of his campaign — is the beginning of, or prologue to, the green, Rouhani, who represents the moderate and reformist camps following the withdrawal of Mohammad Reza Aref, is possibly making an allusion to the opposition Green Movement. He also further signalled his reformist credentials by retweeting a number of photographs and messages made by Aref earlier today.

 

1105 GMT Fatemeh Hashemi Votes For Rouhani

Fatemeh Hashemi, the daughter of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani voted earlier today in north Tehran, and told reporters she had cast her ballot for moderate candidate Hassan Rouhani.

Fatemeh was with her two brothers, Yasser Hashemi and Mehdi Hashemi. In response to a question by reporters about who she thought would win the election, Fatemeh replied: “Whoever we vote for”.

1102 GMT Polling stations in north Tehran still very busy

 

1043 GMT: Update – Farda News Filtered

Najmeh Bozorgmehr, the Tehran correspondent for the Financial Times, reports that the conservative website Farda News, which is close to presidential candidate Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, has been blocked for continuing campaigning after the official deadline.

 

1035 GMT: Complaint Over Out-of-Date Ballot Papers

More on the complaint by Hassan Rouhani’s campaign of out-of-date ballot papers which still include reformist Mohammad Reza Aref, who withdrew earlier this week.

Radio Free Europe has obtained a copy of the letter of complaint to the Guardian Council:

Photographs from one polling station show Aref’s name, even though that of MP Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel — who quit last weekend — is struck out.

IRAN 14-06-13 BALLOT PAPER

1034 GMT: Photo: Rouhani After Casting His Vote

 

1011 GMT: Larijani Brothers Urge High Turnout

Speaking after casting his vote earlier today, speaker of the majlis, Ali Larijani, told reporters that “people’s presence on the scene” during the presidential election is a message of support for the Islamic Republic. He added, “The elections should [lead to] domestic changes in the country and improve economic conditions, and change our position on the international stage and help the Islamic Awakening movement.” Larijani also stated that Iran’s economic situation makes it even more important that voters choose “carefully” and that the results might have a “positive impact on international issues.” Meanwhile, his brother Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, the head of the Judiciary, declared that participating in the election would create a “major epic” and that a “Massive presence of the [Iranian] people in the elections will be the Islamic establishment’s key weapon in facing Western countries.”

0941 GMT Khomeini’s Grandson: Everyone Should Do What The Supreme Leader Says

After casting his vote this morning in northern Tehran, cleric Seyed Hassan Khomeini, grandson of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s grandson, said that “everyone should act according to the Supreme Leader’s recommendations” regarding who to vote for.

0936 GMT: Khatami Casts His Vote

Photograph of former reformist president Mohammad Khatami casting his vote. khatami votes 2013

0933 GMT: Basij Voters Choosing Jalili

Suggestions on social media that members of the basij militia are siding with presidential candidate and current lead nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, as opposed to Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf.

 

0930 GMT Rezaei: My Main Concern Is The People

After casting his vote Friday morning in Robat Karim village, Tehran Province, Independent Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei said he wanted to thank the people of Iran, whatever decision they took.

“I came here to say that our main concern is the people,” Rezaei said. “My message to supporters is that the elections and the government… are one of the great achievements of the Iranian nation.”

Rezaei said that if elected, he would focus on the economy, especially on combating inflation and high prices.

0915 GMT: “Election is Another Victory For the Iranian Nation”

The hardline cleric Ayatollah Mohammad-Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi told reporters after voting in Ghom, “This election is another victory for the Iranian nation against world arrogance. […] I hope that the people who will begin working will bring contentment to the hearts of the Lord of the Ages (Imam Zaman) and his rightful surrogate (Khamenei).”

Mesbah-Yazdi is a member of the conservative Perseverance Front and supporter of Presidential candidate Saeed Jalili.

0917 GMT: Minister of Interior: “Please, No Speculation”

 

Minister of Interior Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, declaring that “efforts have been made this year to announce results better than in previous years”, has asked “media outlets and candidates’ representatives not to speculate before results are announced — because this could perturb the public“.

0857 GMT: Fars News Declares A “Political Epic”

Despite it still being relatively early in the day, Fars News has declared that “Iran has become a political epic.”

It echoes the words of Supreme Leader Khamenei who has previously called upon Iranians to turn the presidential election into an “epic.” The regime has been keen to encourage a large voter turnout as evidence of the contest’s – and therefore the system’s – legitimacy.

0855 GMT: Conservative Farda News Filtered

The conservative Farda News is currently being filtered on the orders of the authorities, according to Mehr News.

0852 GMT: Where is Ahmadinejad?

It is now past 1 p.m. in Tehran and one of today’s mysteries is the non-appearance of President Ahmadinejad.

Political figures almost always cast their ballots early in elections, and indeed all candidates and leading politicians have done so today — expect for the winner of the disputed 2009 election.

An EA correspondent in Iran assesses:

This will probably have no big effect, but it is another display by Ahmadinejad of his middle finger at everyone.

Putting things into perspective, its the biggest act of insubordination he can do right now. It will damage the proclamation of “legitimacy” by the Supreme Leader and hs inner circle.

0837 GMT: Former Foreign Minister Ebrahim Yazdi Votes

Mehr News reports that former Foreign Minister and political prisoner, Ebrahim Yazdi, has cast his vote in today’s ballot.

He said that that voting was a “national duty.” Yazdi served as Foreign Minister during the interim government of Mehdi Bazargan after the Islamic Revolution but resigned in protest against the 1979 hostage crisis. He has since been a leading opposition figure as head of the Freedom Movement of Iran and was arrested in the wake of the disputed 2009 election, and again in October 2010.

Rouhani Campaign Complain To Guardian Council

The campaign team of moderate candidate Hassan Rouhani has formally complained to the Guardian Council over botched ballot papers showing Mohammad-Reza Aref’s name. Aref resigned from the race earlier this week. If Aref’s name is on ballot papers, it will likely result in fewer votes for Rouhani.

 

Ebtekar: Polls Say Rouhani In Lead

Masoumeh Ebtekar, Iran’s first female vice president under Khatami and now a member of the Tehran City Council, has said that according to polls, Rouhani is currently leading the race.

“I think these polls are very clear and transparent…. In the last 24 hours, polls have repeatedly stated that Rouhani is first,” she said.

Ebtekar is apparently quoting a poll by US-based company IPOS, whose methodology is unclear.

0824 GMT: Larijani Casts His Vote

Photograph of the speaker of the majlis, Ali Larijani, casting his vote.

Ali Larijani Votes 2013

0801 GMT: Rouhani Praises Himself For Conduct

Moderate candidate Rouhani praises the way he has behaved during the campaign:

 

0739 GMT Rouhani Casts His Vote

 

 

0734 GMT Supreme Leader Asks: Who To Vote For?

In a series of tweets, Khamenei poses the question: Who to vote for? Here, he talks about the qualities voters should look for: commitment, readiness and ability to carry out great work in senior management.

 

0728 GMT Jalili Voter & Child With Orange Drink

Photograph of Jalili supporter and a small child celebrating voting for Saeed Jalili. d027bb86d4bc11e2bfc622000a9d0dda_7

0723 GMT Green Call: Iranians Abroad Phone Iran, Urge Rouhani Votes

 

 

“Every Vote An Arrow In US Heart”, Says State TV

With voters urged to create a “political epic”, the regime — including the Supreme Leader — has focused on expressing the message that voting is an expression of defiance to the United States.

 

Rezaei Casts His Vote

Independent Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei is the last of the six candidates to cast his vote.

 

0707 GMT Photo: Aref Votes

ISNA posts a series of photographs of former Presidential candidate Mohammad-Reza Aref voting.

mirzazadeh-7-3

Interior Minister: “Reporters Can Go To Polling Stations”

Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar told reporters that they are allowed to visit any of the country’s polling stations and report on any violations.

“We are ready to receive and consider all reports regarding possible violations, and investigate them,” Najjar said. “We are also ready to answer all questions and give a direct answer as soon as possible.”

Tehran Head Prosector: All Is Well With Vote

Tehran’s head prosecutor, Mortaza Bakhtiari, tells the Trend News Agency that there are “no problems in the voting process, and everything is going on very well. We investigated all polling stations, and we continue to monitor them,” he said. “The process thus far is going smoothly.”

Khamenei: The Main Issue Is The Economy

As Iranians vote, the Supreme Leader’s office tweets: The main issue is the economy. If the nation can get its economy on track, the enemy would be defenseless against the nation”.

 

Flashback: Four Years Ago Today, Karroubi Votes

Saham News posts this photographic tribute to detained former Presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi voting in the disputed Presidential election of 2009. Karroubi, a reformist, has been under house arrest since February 2011. karoubi-sahamnews-election-entekhabat-10-2

Labour Leader Osanloo: This Election Will Not Advance Our Rights

Labour leader Mansour Osanloo, imprisoned from 2006 to 2011 and now living outside Iran, writes in The New York Times: In the face of this economic crisis, none of the current candidates on the ballot has put forward a tangible economic plan that addresses workers’ concerns. They have made references to difficulties and criticized the Ahmadinejad administration’s mismanagement and corruption, but they have not proposed or discussed any solutions to the workers’ plight. We welcome international support from all those who care for our struggle. The American left has rightly opposed military adventurism against Iran, but it should also oppose sanctions that hurt ordinary Iranians and back our struggle to gain the freedom of speech and association, as well as the right to bargain collectively and advocate for workplace improvements. Those basic liberties are essential for our dignity — and for the future of genuine democracy in Iran.

0548 GMT Photos: Iranians Lining Up To Vote

The Young Journalists Club posted these images of Iranians lining up to vote before polls opened this morning. File_6295_113243 credit aria jafari

0542 GMT Aref: If You Don’t Vote, Don’t Complain

Former Presidential candidate Mohammad-Reza Aref — who withdrew from the race in favor of the moderate Hassan Rouhani — tweets this image of young voters, with the message: If you don’t vote, don’t complain!

 

0531 GMT Khamenei: Iranians Don’t Need To Wait For US Approval

The Supreme Leader — who appears defensive, giving the impression of a degree of nervousness about today’s ballot — continues to stress that Iranians do not need “US approval”:

0524 GMT Rafsanjani: Hope Elections Bring National Unity

Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani — disqualified from the Presidential race by the Guardian Council — tells reporters that he hopes the elections bring national unity, reformist former candidate Mohammad Reza Aref tweets:

 

0519 GMT Saeed Jalili Cast Vote In Rey

Presidential candidate and Supreme National Security Council secretary Saeed Jalili announced he would cast his vote at 8 a.m. at the Shah Abdul Azim shrine, in Rey. Jalili said that regardless of whether he wins the election or not, he is satisfied that his campaign was moral:

Supreme Leader Casts Votes “In Defiance of US Leaders”

Ayatollah Khamenei, voting this morning, called for all Iranians to participate in the election and said he was defying “US leaders” who say they do not recognize the ballot:

 

 

Polls Open in Presidential Election

Polls have opened in the first round of the Iranian Presidential election, with six candidates seeking to be among the top two men who will contest next Friday’s final round — assuming no one takes more than 50% of the vote today.

The strongest two contenders appear to be Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf and the moderate Hassan Rouhani, an ally of the former President Hashemi Rafsanjani and a former lead nuclear negotiatior.

The current lead nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, has faded after a strong start to the campaign but could still make the run-off. The Supreme Leader’s senior advisor and former Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Velayati, also has an outside chance.

Mohsen Rezaei, the former commander of the Revolutionary Guards, and the independent Mohammad Gharazi are also on the ballot.

More than 50 million Iranians are eligible to vote. After the disputed 2009 Presidential election — in which 85% of the electorate were declared to have participated — the regime is hoping for at least 70% turnout today.

Ben Offiler, , " />
By , , June 14, 2013 21:07 Updated