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Iran Election Blog

On June 14, Iranians head to the polls in the country's first presidential election since the contested vote in 2009, the aftermath of which saw hundreds of thousands of protesters take to the streets to demonstrate against the results. Here, RFE/RL editors will compile some of the best tidbits from the last few days of the campaign, including comments sent by Iranians to RFE/RL's Radio Farda.


A woman shows a victory sign after a campaign rally in early June.

A woman shows a victory sign after a campaign rally in early June.

14:13 14.6.2013
This blog is no longer being updated (it was only for run-up to the vote) -- please go here for the latest updates from Iran.
04:29 14.6.2013
The latest from the IPOS polling organization shows Rohani in the lead, but a lot of "undecideds" -- "Scenarios: Rohani And Ghalibaf Go to Runoff or Rohani Wins" [LINK]
04:03 14.6.2013
04:00 14.6.2013
The polls are open:
19:30 13.6.2013
The "BBC" has issued a statement condemning the intimidation of family members of BBC Persian staff who live in Iran. The statement reads:

The BBC is very concerned by the unprecedented levels of intimidation being suffered by families of BBC Persian Service staff living in Iran in the final days of the presidential election campaign.

In the past few days alone, 15 family members have been summoned for questioning by the Intelligence Ministry in Tehran and in other cities across the country. The harassment has included threats that relatives will lose jobs and pensions and be prevented from travelling abroad. For the first time the lives of BBC Persian TV staff living in the UK have also been threatened.

The BBC condemns this completely unacceptable harassment against our Persian TV service and other media organisations and independent journalists. Despite this intimidation and crude attempts to discredit our journalism, BBC audiences in Iran have almost doubled to 11.8m. This recognition by ordinary Iranians is a tribute to the professionalism and resilience of our journalists, and to the value of their work delivering unbiased news and programmes to Persian-speaking audiences.

RFE/RL's Radio Farda has suffered similar abuses. An excerpt of RFE/RL's statement on the matter is below. Read the full statement here.

"The harassment has intensified in the past several weeks, as the authorities take all possible precautions against anything that may challenge their control over the elections," said Radio Farda Director Armand Mostofi.

Radio Farda, RFE/RL's Persian-language service, has documented nine incidents during the month of May in which family members in Iran have been interrogated about their relatives' activity in Prague, told to persuade them to leave their jobs or stay but work covertly for Iranian intelligence, indirectly threatened with the loss of a job or educational opportunities because of their relatives' work and, in some cases, asked to spy on their relatives.

The methods used by authorities indicate detailed knowledge of Radio Farda journalists' relationships and activities, Mostofi said, offering clear evidence that Radio Farda reporting and families are subject to systematic surveillance in Iran. Mostofi added that Radio Farda journalists are also concerned about recent targeting of their email by what Google warns are "state-sponsored attackers...attempting to compromise [this] account or computer."
17:59 13.6.2013

WATCH: RFE/RL's Mardo Soghom discusses what's at stake for Iran's Supreme Leader in tomorrow's presidential elections:


17:43 13.6.2013
16:49 13.6.2013
Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf gets some support on the street ("You are blonde, you are handsome. No doubt you will become president"):

16:43 13.6.2013
Here's a video of an eleven-year-old boy rapping at a Said Jalili rally. He says (among other things):

"Reading books and raising your knowledge is Said's solution. He knows serving people is like praying, being careless regarding the country's issues is betraying"

"Said is different from others, he is not after money."

16:00 13.6.2013
Some messages from Iran to Radio Farda:

Via Facebook:
Elham: We yearn for a faithful reformist but I am sure an extremist will get elected.
Shahram: The result of the elections will not have any impact on the decision of Khamenei to appoint whomever he wants.
Kourosh Bozorg: I am not going to vote because based on the constitution and structure of the Islamic Republic, the president has minimum authority to initiate any real change.
Ali: We are all with Dr. Rohani but we are scared of what will find out when we wake up Saturday morning.
Mahdi: The real competition is between Rohani and Velayati. Yesterday I went to ten villages and there was campaigning only for Velayati.

Via SMS:
Anonymous: Staying away from the ballot box is the easiest, most effective and most obvious show of opposition to this regime.
Hossein from Yazd: Mr. Khamenei, you say that all of our problems are the work of the enemy; inflation, unemployment, economic chaos, devaluation of the currency, prostitution, poverty…Well, before the Islamic republic we did not have these problems, so when you say enemy do you mean the Islamic Republic?

Via Email:
Farshad from Eslamshahr: I am afraid that the conservatives will win again. I am afraid that for another 8 years we have to live in terrible conditions. I am afraid that the day after the elections when the results are announced we will bite our own flesh and say we are doomed.
Ebrahim from Khanaj: Mr. Rohani, I congratulate you because 100% of the 15 million Sunnis will vote for you. As you announced, you should do everything to get rid of religious discrimination.
Asghar: Via Radio Farda I would like to tell the honorable people of Iran: Let’s have the biggest and best elections on Friday to make traitors and enemies of Iran’s regime hopeless.

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About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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