Iran goes to the polls
Iranians will vote on Friday in elections for their country’s parliament and the Assembly of Experts, a clerical body that appoints the supreme leader. BBC Persian’s Ali Hamedani has been talking to prospective voters via social media and offers this assessment of the mood.
It is late at night in northern Tehran and Amir, a journalist, and his wife have just been stopped by the morality police, the mobile squads that enforce Iran’s strict Islamic dress code.
They were on their way home from a party when they were pulled over because the morality police believed the headscarf Amir’s wife was wearing did not cover enough of her hair.
It is an everyday occurrence in Iran and just one small example of the deep divisions within Iranian society between the people who want to uphold and protect the values of the Islamic revolution, and those who are challenging it and want Iran to modernise.
It is a struggle which is dominating this week’s elections.
“In previous years when it came close to an election, the government was easier on us,” says Amir.
“It was a good opportunity to be freer for a few months. They didn’t arrest people for their appearance, because they wanted to make people happy and encourage them to vote. But it’s not like that this time.”
Amir and many young, Western-oriented internet-savvy Iranians like him are disappointed that so many moderate and reformist candidates have been barred from standing in the elections.
He describes the choice facing voters as between “the bad and the worse”.
But like many Iranians he still thinks the elections are a chance to make a difference.
“My friends may not vote because there is no one left to vote for,” he says. “But I still think we should vote.”
“To be honest with you, I don’t care about this election,” she says during a recording session for her new album at an underground recording studio in Tehran.
“There are no candidates who support my hopes and opinions at all. None of them represent my voice.”
If Justina is the face of young, modern Iran, then Jafar Shojouni is very much the face of the establishment.
A hardline cleric and former MP, he spent time with Ayatollah Khomeini, the founding father of the Islamic Republic, during his exile in Paris in the 1970s.
“Islam asks people to support the Islamic government,” he says. “It’s not about whom you want to vote for – it is about the act of voting itself.”
Like many conservatives, Mr Shojouni is deeply worried that the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which was implemented in January, will open up the country to outside influences which could threaten the future of the revolution.
we await the results with popcorn at the ready..not as exciting as the american one eh? 🙂
im tipping the old guy with a turban and a white beard wins..you can see him in the image above..