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Iran’s ‘Reformists’ Undecided About June Presidential Vote

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Iran’s ‘Reform Front’ says they have not decided whether to field a candidate or participate in the Iran’s upcoming June presidential election, for a successor to Ebrahim Raisi who died in a helicopter crash on May 19.

Media in Tehran quoted Javad Emami, the spokesperson of the Reform Front and an individual close to former President Mohammad Khatami as saying that ‘reformist’ politician will discuss the issue of the elections on Sunday.

The core of the Iranian clerical regime led by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has completely sidelined the ‘reformists’ in recent elections. While they are loyal to the essence of maintaining the Islamic Republic as the country’s political system, they have been asking for reforms, such as more media freedom and less interference by the military.

Khamenei, by stage-managing elections in 2020 first packed the parliament by hardliners and then helped elect Ebrahim Raisi, a loyal cleric, to the presidency in 2021. Hundreds of candidates were also disqualified in this year’s March parliamentary elections, further solidifying control by Khamenei loyalists.

Emami stated that “The conditions of the election depend on how the government handles the June elections. These days, the country is in crisis, and we hope to see the correct path for the elections demonstrated as soon as possible.”

The spokesperson of the ‘Reform Front’ was apparently alluding to the fact that all politicians and media await signs to see what Khamenei intends to do during the elections – allow a diversity of candidates or repeat the closed model used in 2021 to elect Raisi.