Federica Mogherini

Mogherini: EU following Iran elections with a lot of respect

IRNA — EU foreign policy chief said, “On the elections in Iran, we obviously follow with a lot of attention and respect the last hours before the elections and I would never comment on the possible results.”

According to the official website of the European Union External Action, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini made the remarks at the press conference following the EU and NATO defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels.

Excerpts from Mogherini’s remarks on Iran are as follows:

“On the elections in Iran, we obviously follow with a lot of attention and respect the last hours before the elections and I would never comment on the possible results. What I can say is that we have worked with the Iranian authorities in these years in an intense manner on many different files. And in some cases we have some common ground and good cooperation, for instance on the implementation of the nuclear agreement we have worked well together with the Iranian authorities. And I can be very satisfied with the fact that for five times the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) has certified that Iran has fully complied with its commitments and the international community has responded to this commitment by lifting the sanctions, and from the European side with a large commitment, profound commitment, to bring investments and start different fields of cooperation. I led myself a visit with six or seven Commissioners to open sectorial dialogues and fields of cooperation, with different colleagues from culture to energy to different aspects. We have opened different fields of cooperation with the Iranian authorities, there are other fields where we do not see eye-to-eye, but I have to say the channels have always been open, the exchanges have always been constructive and there is I would say a certain level of exchanges and understanding. So I would not comment on the potential results, but it is an election that we look at very closely. Also because Iran is an important player in the region, not only in the Middle East, but also in Asia – think of Afghanistan. So, definitely it is going to be an important election and I can only wish all the Iranian citizens a good exercise of their voting rights.”

Polling stations are open from 8am until 6pm local time (3:30am to 1:30pm GMT) although authorities have announced that the country’s 63,500 polling stations could extend their voting time if necessary.

Over 56 million Iranians are eligible to vote in Iran’s 12th presidential elections, according to the Election Headquarters of the Interior Ministry.

Out of the total eligible voters over 1.3 million are those who vote for the first time.

Some 66.7 percent of respondents to a survey carried out by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on May 7-8 said they will participate in Iran’s May 19 presidential elections.

Presidential election is also being held in 102 countries.

Some 570 international journalists from 42 countries are covering the event in Iran.

In addition to the 12th presidential election and the fifth city and village councils elections, by-election is also being held in the cities of Isfahan (in Isfahan province), Maragheh, Ahar, Heris (in East Azarbaijan province), Ajabshir, Bastak, Parsian and Bandar Lengeh (in Hormuzgan province ) to elect representatives for four vacant parliament seats.

The four candidates running in the presidential competition are incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, the Custodian of Imam Reza (AS) Holy Shrine Ebrahim Raeisi and former minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mostafa Aqa Mirsalim and former Minister of Physical Education Mostafa Hashemi Taba.

First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri and Mayor of Tehran, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf were other presidential candidates who quitted the presidential race to support their favorite candidates (Rouhani and Raeisi, respectively).