July 29, 2021

in the polling stations, the supporters of the confident conservatives, those of the rare and unillusioned reformers

In Tehran, Friday, June 18, presidential election day, two parts of the electorate did not face each other. Until the end of the day, one mobilized when the other preferred to stay at home.

While in conservative strongholds voters thronged mosques in a loud but disciplined hubbub, in stark contrast, only the echo of rare footsteps echoed in empty school classrooms.

In Iran, where people vote in the office of their choice without territorial constraints, supporters of reformers traditionally prefer to vote in schools, shunning religious shrines, which are favored by conservatives. And until late afternoon on Friday, from south to north of the Iranian capital, mosques were a bit crowded when schools remained hopelessly empty.

Voters wait in front of a polling station in Tehran on June 18, 2021.

In the popular district of Khorasan, in the south of Tehran, we vote since 7 am in the enclosure of the Lorzadeh mosque, a building of the XIVe century with a minaret richly decorated with ceramics in shades of blue and bluish green.

“Those who abstain are traitors”

Wearing a white turban and wearing the with members of the clergy, Hamid Rassayi, a former rapporteur of the ultraconservative faction in Parliament, now a candidate for municipal elections – they are held at the same time as the presidential election – awaits their turn, covering the crowd with a satisfied look. “Our country is a popular country, our regime is a popular regime. The active participation of the people in elections is like the morning dew on plants! “, he exclaims. “Iran has enemies, like France, who don’t want our regime to be popular. People’s participation is our response, adds the one, who unsurprisingly, is about to vote for Ebrahim Raïssi. [Le président sortant Hassan] Rohani had his gaze fixed on the West, whose assent he sought to resolve the country’s problems. Mr. Raïssi has his eyes focused on his people. “

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In the line reserved for voters, where the black chador is worn evenly, the tone can be even harsher: “Those who abstain are traitors. It is an unforgivable mistake to leave it to foreigners to decide the fate of the country. We hope that Mr. Raïssi will fill the eight years of the reforming government of Rohani ”, explains Somayeh. “We must participate massively in the elections because we owe it to our martyrs and our Supreme Leader. We must show all the countries of the world which thought that the Iranian people were going to abstain that there is a mad world ”, Soheila abounds.

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