Iran

Articles about voting issues in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran: Cyberattack on US Presidential Campaign Could Be a Sign of Things to Come | Jai Vijayan/Dark Reading

A recently detected Iranian cyberattack targeting a US presidential campaign may well be a harbinger of what’s in store for political parties and election systems in the run-up to next year’s general elections. Last Friday Microsoft disclosed it had observed significant threat activity over the past two months by Phosphorus, a threat group believed linked to the Iranian government. Phosphorus, which is also known as APT25 and Charming Kitten, made over 2,700 attempts to break into specific email accounts belonging to Microsoft customers. In many cases, Phosphorus used information about the targets — including phone numbers and secondary email addresses — to try and infiltrate their email accounts. In the end, Phosphorus attacked 241 targeted email accounts and eventually managed to compromise four of them. In a blog Friday, Microsoft corporate vice president Tom Burt described the targeted accounts as being associated with a US presidential campaign, current and former US government officials, journalists covering politics, and Iranian nationals residing outside the country. The four accounts that were actually breached, however, were not connected to the presidential campaign or to the government officials.

Full Article: Iranian Cyberattack on US Presidential Campaign ....

Iran: It’s not just the Russians anymore as Iranians and others turn up disinformation efforts ahead of 2020 vote | Craig Timberg and Tony Romm/ The Washington Post

A recent tweet from Alicia Hernan — whose Twitter account described her as a wife, mother and lover of peace — did not mince words about her feelings for President Trump: “That stupid moron doesn’t get that that by creating bad guys, spewing hate filled words and creating fear of ‘others’, his message is spreading to fanatics around the world. Or maybe he does.” That March 16 tweet, directed to a Hawaii congressman, was not the work of an American voter venting her frustration. The account, “@AliciaHernan3,” was what disinformation researchers call a “sock puppet” — a type of fictitious online persona used by Russians when they were seeking to influence the 2016 presidential election. But it was Iranians, not Russians, who created @AliciaHernan3, complete with a picture of a blonde woman with large, round-framed glasses and a turtleneck sweater. It was one of more than 7,000 phony accounts from Iran that Twitter has shut down this year alone. And Iran is far from the only nation that has, within its borders, substantial capacity to wage Russian-style influence operations in the United States ahead of next year’s election. That means American voters are likely to be targeted in the coming campaign season by more foreign disinformation than ever before, say those studying such operations.

Full Article: It’s not just the Russians anymore as Iranians and others turn up disinformation efforts ahead of 2020 vote - The Washington Post.

Iran: Vetting body certifies Rouhani’s re-election | Reuters

Iran’s election watchdog certified President Hassan Rouhani’s reelection as fair on Tuesday, dismissing claims by the defeated hardline candidate who had asked for investigation into alleged widespread fraud. “The Guardian Council confirmed today in a letter the results of the 12th presidential election in Iran,” Salman Samani, the spokesman of the interior ministry, was quoted as saying by the state media. Rouhani easily secured reelection for a second term in the May 19 vote, winning more than 57 percent of the vote. His main challenger, hardline judge Ebrahim Raisi, received 38 percent.

Full Article: Iran's vetting body certifies Rouhani's re-election | Reuters.

Iran: High Kurdish turnout in Iran elections despite opposition boycot | Rudaw

Over 58 percent of eligible voters have cast their ballots in the four predominately Kurdish provinces in Iran, despite Kurdish opposition groups’ joint call to boycott the votes in the run up to the polls in April, preliminary statistics from the election committees show. Iran held simultaneous elections for the post of the president and legislative seats in city councils across the country on Friday.  Kermanshah province, a mainly Kurdish region with large Persian speaking populations had over 75 percent turnout, well above national average of around 73 percent.

Full Article: High Kurdish turnout in Iran elections despite opposition boycot.

Iran: Hassan Rouhani wins Iranian election by a landslide following near-record turnout | The Washington Post

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was reelected to a second term by a landslide, the interior minister declared Saturday, presenting him a resounding endorsement of his plans to end Iran’s pariah status and rejoin the global economy. With 57 percent of the vote, Rouhani defeated his hard-line rival, Ebrahim Raisi, who had the backing of the ruling clergy and allied security forces. He also won a clear mandate to push through domestic reforms and pursue talks with the West, building on the nuclear deal he negotiated with world powers. That agreement, which Rouhani and his cabinet clinched during his first term, constrains Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for international sanctions relief.

Full Article: Hassan Rouhani wins Iranian election by a landslide following near-record turnout - The Washington Post.

Iran: Tinder-like app could sway presidential vote | Fox News

Iranians will be able to learn more about their presidential candidates with a simple swipe of their phone. A California-based NGO has helped to create a Tinder-like app for the Iranian smartphone market to provide unfettered information about the candidates ahead of Friday’s national elections. Creators and supporters of the app say it will help Iranian voters make informed choices away from the regime’s propaganda machine that controls the flow of information in Iran.

Full Article: Iranian elections: Tinder-like app could sway presidential vote | Fox News.

Iran: Are elections in Iran an exercise in futility? | Al Jazeera

Once again a major election is approaching in Iran – a presidential election at yet another crucial turning point in the history of the beleaguered theocracy ruling over a restless and ambitious nation, trying by hook or by crook to curtail a rich and powerful political culture far beyond its limited imagination. Once again, nagging questions are paramount among Iranians in and out of their homeland: Are such elections an exercise in futility? Will they make any difference? Do they have any tangible result in the life of the nation? 

Full Article: Are elections in Iran an exercise in futility? | Iran 2017 Elections | Al Jazeera.

Iran: Leader Vows ‘Slap in the Face’ for Election Disruptions | The New York Times

Iran’s highest leader said on Wednesday that any disrupters of national elections, which are less than two weeks away, would receive a “slap in the face,” underscoring the political tensions lurking behind the vote. The warning came in a widely publicized speech by the leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to graduating cadets of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the powerful paramilitary force, in which he emphasized that security was the most important issue in the May 19 election, when Iranians will choose a new president and city and village councils. Ever since unprecedented antigovernment protests after the disputed 2009 presidential vote, elections have become delicate moments in Iran.

Full Article: Iran Leader Vows ‘Slap in the Face’ for Election Disruptions - The New York Times.

Iran: Electronic Voting Machines to Be Installed in 145 Cities across Iran | Tasnim News Agency

Electronic voting machines are planned to be installed in 145 cities tomorrow as Iran prepares to hold the 5th City and Village Councils elections concurrent with the upcoming presidential vote, an official said on Monday. Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Qassem Mirzaee Nekou, an ICT official at the central board responsible for monitoring the 5th City and Village Councils elections said all the necessary measures have been taken to provide the required facilities, including hardware and software, to hold the polls electronically.

Full Article: Tasnim News Agency - Electronic Voting Machines to Be Installed in 145 Cities across Iran: Official.

Iran: Is Putin interfering in Iran’s presidential elections? | Iran Pulse

Iranian conservative presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi met with visiting Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov — an encounter that Raisi probably did not expect would end up causing problems ahead of the May 19 presidential elections. The hard-line Tasnim News Agency, which is seen as backing Raisi and reported the meeting, described Minnikhanov as an envoy of Russian President Vladimir Putin, seemingly to highlight Raisi’s stature. During the meeting, Minnikhanov reportedly told Raisi, “We hope that the relationship between Iran and Tatarstan will be [further] developed.” He added, “Vladimir Putin gives special importance to the spread of religion, including Islam, as he has formed a strategic group, which I head, for developing relations with Islam [the Islamic world].”

Full Article: Is Putin interfering in Iran’s presidential elections?.

Iran: Plans to Hold Iran Presidential Election ‘Fully Electronically’ Shelved | Tasnim News Agency

Spokesmen for Iran’s Guardian Council ruled out the possibility that the presidential election, slated for May 19, will be held with electronic voting machines in the whole polling stations, citing security issues. In an interview with the Tasnim News Agency on Friday, Abbasali Kadkhodaei said the upcoming presidential election will definitely not be held fully electronically. An “all-electronic” election requires the Interior Ministry to make arrangements to ensure the security, quality and health of the polls, he noted, adding that given the short time remaining until the polls, the May 19 presidential election will not be held fully electronically.

Iran: Electronic Voting Machines Pass Security Tests | Financial Tribune

Domestically-designed machines built to replace ballot boxes in the upcoming city council elections have been successfully tested, removing doubts over the implementation of electronic voting in Iranian elections. Abolfazl Aboutorabi, a member of Majlis Councils and Internal Affairs Commission, made the announcement in a talk with ICANA on Saturday. The elections will be held on May 19, concurrent with the presidential polls.  A special parliamentary board, comprising three members of Majlis Councils and Internal Affairs Commission and two from Majlis Article 90 Commission, is tasked with vetting candidates and overseeing the city council elections.

Full Article: Electronic Voting Machines Pass Security Tests | Financial Tribune.

Iran: E-voting viable if Guardian Council approves so | Tehran Times

Alireza Barati, deputy Interior Minister for e-governance and IT, has said the interior ministry is ready to hold electronic voting in the forthcoming presidential election if the Guardian Council gives the go-head. “Electronic voting offers advantages such as speed, accuracy and precision and we are ready to use it in the upcoming presidential election provided that the Guardian Council approves it,” ISNA quoted Barati as saying on Monday. There is an economic dimension to electronic voting as it remove the need to print ballots and count votes, the official added. 

Full Article: E-voting viable if Guardian Council approves so - Tehran Times.

Iran: New parliament has more women than clerics | AFP

Iran’s new parliament will have more women than clerics when its members are sworn in this month, a first in the Islamic republic and a sign of the country’s evolving politics. Official results Saturday showed that reformist and moderate politicians allied with President Hassan Rouhani won a big victory in second round parliamentary elections. The outcome saw them outnumber their conservative rivals — many hardliners lost seats — for the first time since 2004 and capped a remarkable comeback for reformists after years of isolation.

Full Article: Iran's new parliament has more women than clerics.

Iran: Moderates get most parliament seats after runoff | The Washington Post

Iranian moderates and reformists who support last year’s landmark nuclear deal have won the largest number of seats in parliament following runoff elections, marking a shift away from hard-liners and boosting moderate President Hassan Rouhani as he looks to secure a second term in office. The results released Saturday on state television failed to give the moderate-reformist camp an outright majority in the 290-seat chamber, however. They will now likely try to attract support from dozens of independent lawmakers whose political leanings vary depending on the issue at hand. There were 68 seats being contested in runoff elections held Friday in 55 constituencies around the country. Residents in the capital, Tehran, did not take part in the second-round balloting because moderates won all 30 seats there outright in first-round voting in February.

Full Article: Iran’s moderates get most parliament seats after runoff - The Washington Post.

Iran: Parliament in the balance in election run-offs | AFP

Nearly a quarter of Iran’s parliamentary seats are at stake Friday in an election in which reformists want to consolidate their recent comeback and minimise the clout of hardline lawmakers. The second round run-offs were triggered because no candidate in 68 constituencies managed to win 25 percent of votes cast in the initial nationwide ballot on February 26. Reformists who backed the country’s moderate President Hassan Rouhani made big gains in the first round following Iran’s implementation of a nuclear deal with world powers, which lifted sanctions blamed for long hobbling the economy. Conservative MPs, including vehement opponents of the West who openly criticised the landmark agreement that reined in Iran’s atomic programme, lost dozens of seats.

Full Article: Flash - Iran parliament in the balance in election run-offs - France 24.

Iran: Iran set to elect record number of women into parliament | The Guardian

With reformist-backed candidates securing a sweeping victory in Tehran, and moderates leading in provinces, a record number of women are set to enter the next Iranian parliament. Estimates based on the latest results show that as many as 20 women are likely to enter the 290-seat legislature known as the Majlis, the most ever. The previous record was set nearly 20 years ago during the fifth parliament after the 1979 revolution, when 14 women held seats. There are nine women in the current Iranian parliament. Eight of the women elected this time were on a reformist-backed list of 30 candidates standing in the Tehran constituency known as “the list of hope”. Among them is Parvaneh Salahshori, a 51-year-old sociologist and university professor originally from Masjed Soleyman, in the south of Iran. Her husband, Barat Ghobadian, also a university professor, was disqualified from running. As the results were being counted, an interview surfaced online showing Salahshori speaking out about discrimination against women in Iran, pleasing many women’s rights advocates. She also said women should be able to choose whether or not to wear the hijab, a taboo subject in the Islamic Republic.

Full Article: Iran set to elect record number of women into parliament | World news | The Guardian.

Iran: Elections deal blow to hardliners as reformists make gains | The Guardian

Hardliners in Iran have been dealt a humiliating blow after reformist-backed candidates in Friday’s hard-fought elections appeared on course for a sweeping victory in Tehran, with a combination of moderates and independents sympathetic to President Hassan Rouhani leading in provinces. A coalition of candidates supported by the reformists, dubbed “the list of hope”, is likely to take all of the capital’s 30 parliamentary seats, according to the latest tally released by the interior ministry, in surprising results seen as a strong vote of confidence in Rouhani’s moderate agenda. Mohammad Reza Aref, a committed reformist who has a degree from Stanford University in the US, is at the top of the list. Preliminary results for the Assembly of Experts, which is responsible for appointing the next supreme leader, showed Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a key Rouhani ally, leading the race. Elections to the assembly are usually a lacklustre event but have attracted huge attention this time because of the age of the current leader, 76-year-old Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Khamenei and Rafsanjani, a prominent pragmatist who was not allowed to run for president in 2013, have been at odds in recent years.

Full Article: Iranian elections deal blow to hardliners as reformists make gains | World news | The Guardian.

Iran: Early Results Show Reformists and Moderates Drawing Votes in Iran Elections | The New York Times

Preliminary results released Saturday in Iran indicated that reformist and moderate candidates were set to expand their influence after two important elections, state news media quoted the Interior Ministry as saying. More than 30 million Iranians voted Friday in the two elections, one for a new Parliament and the other for an influential clerical council. The elections were the first since the completion of an international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program that included the lifting of economic sanctions against the country, a deal supported by the reformist camp and opposed by hard-liners. Voter turnout for the two contests exceeded 60 percent, according to the Interior Ministry. The reformist and moderate list of candidates for the 290-member Parliament appeared to be headed for victory in the Tehran area, according to preliminary results announced by election officials and reported by the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran News Network. Representatives from Tehran, the capital, control 30 seats in Parliament and generally determine the political direction of the body.

Full Article: Early Results Show Reformists and Moderates Drawing Votes in Iran Elections - The New York Times.

Iran: Voting is underway in Iran in elections with few moderate candidates | The Washington Post

Iranians headed to the polls Friday in national elections that conservatives are once again expected to dominate parliament and other government bodies, constraining the ability of Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s pragmatist president, to push through reforms. The election once had the potential to be pivotal until almost every would-be candidate advocating reform was barred from running. But with only a limited number of moderates and reformers on the ballot, analysts say the election is unlikely to foreshadow a history-making moment of change in Iran. The election — the first since a nuclear deal lifted most of the international sanctions that had hobbled economic growth — is being closely watched nevertheless. “Our enemies have their covetous eyes trained on Iran,” said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader, according to state TV. “People are advised to vote with discretion and foresight and disappoint the enemies.”

Full Article: Voting is underway in Iran in elections with few moderate candidates - The Washington Post.