Candidates make final push for votes ahead of election silence

IRAN – With the clock ticking down to the Iranian presidential election on June 28, candidates intensified their efforts to secure voter support on Tuesday and Wednesday before the imminent campaign ban set to take effect in the early hours of Thursday.

Apart from appearing on national TV for their final personal 15 minutes with the Iranian populace, contenders embarked on journeys to various provinces to appeal for support.

Reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian traveled to Kerman and Yazd on his final campaigning days, making various promises to the people and vowing not to betray their trust. “We eliminate societal deprivation and work towards a proud Iran alongside the people,” he said while speaking at a gathering of Kermani residents on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Saeed Jalili addressed the issue of economic inequality during his visit to Kerman a day earlier, emphasizing the need for fair wages in the province’s mines. He also criticized reformists for “overseeing a stagnation in economic growth” and called for the utilization of all of Kerman’s capacities to establish justice.

Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf highlighted the impact of sanctions on Iran’s economy during his visit to East Azerbaijan, pledging to pursue the termination of sanctions if elected. He also warned against a return to a “period of recession” and emphasized his promise to establish a second economic capital on the coasts of the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean by next year.

Alireza Zakani, another conservative candidate, stressed the importance of people’s sovereignty through their demands and oversight of officials during his interaction with students at Tehran University’s Faculty of Law and Political Science.

Reformist comeback gains momentum as conservatives struggle to unify

Analysts aligned with the conservative faction are sounding the alarm about the looming prospect of reformist Pezeshkian emerging victorious, as conservative presidential hopefuls have yet to unite behind a single figure.

Analysts have been cautioning since the list of official candidates was announced by the Guardian Council that conservatives may be at risk of losing the June 28 elections in Iran if they fail to consolidate their support behind a single candidate.

With key reformist figures such as former Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and former President Mohamad Khatami deciding to endorse Pezeshkian, recent polls indicate that conservatives are now more likely to face defeat at the hands of reformists, who have governed the country for a combined 32 years since the victory of the Islamic Revolution.

The concern was echoed by one of the conservative contenders, Amir-Hossein Hashemi Qazizadeh, who warned in a Wednesday post on X that “failure to reach consensus on a single candidate may inadvertently benefit the opposing faction.”

Despite Qazizadeh’s signal, however, the two leading conservative candidates in the presidential race , Qalibaf and Jalili, have not yet indicated their intention to possibly step aside in support of one another.



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