Accessibility links

Breaking News

EXPERTS AVAILABLE: Presidential Election in Iran

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei arrives to cast his ballot in the June 18, 2021 presidential election.

Iranian voters are going to the polls today (June 18) to vote on a replacement for two-term President Hassan Rohani. Only four candidates are left on the ballot after three dropped out on Wednesday – but many believe the election is stacked in favor of one man: Iran’s hard-line prosecutor, Ebrahim Raisi.

Iran’s Guardians Council, a 12-man body that vets presidential candidates, blocked Raisi's most serious rivals from running: former parliament speaker Ali Larijani; the reformist bloc’s leading candidate, Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri; all female candidates; and former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

Raisi, who lost to Rohani in his previous presidential run in 2017, may have grander ambitions beyond the presidency -- Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader is 82 years old, and Raisi has been tipped as a potential successor.

Faced with crippling US sanctions and the COVID-19 pandemic, the election comes amid economic turmoil and growing public discontent in Iran. Moreover, with Raisi facing no strong challenger on the ballot and activists calling for a boycott, voter turnout is expected to be low.

RFE/RL’s Persian Service, Radio Farda, has been providing audiences in Iran with comprehensive coverage of the election campaign, including informed analysis of the issues, coverage of campaign attacks, and counterattacks, and engagement with voters to gauge and report people’s reactions.

RFE/RL experts are available for comment before, during and after the polls:


Find More RFE/RL Experts at

To schedule an interview with any of RFE/RL's experts, contact Martins Zvaners in Washington (; +1.202.457.6948), or Jana Hokuvova in Prague (; +420.221.122.072).

Follow the latest developments on