Skip to main content

Duke News Tip -- Exiled Dissident Says Iran's Election Won't Be Free, Fair or Competitive

June 14 election 'a selection between the loyal servants of the dictator,' says Mohsen Kadivar

Several Iranian opposition figures have declared Iran's June 14 presidential election illegitimate following last week's decision by Iran's constitutional body to disqualify several candidates. Among the disqualified is leading opposition-backed candidate and former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Mohsen Kadivar

Visiting research professor of Islamic Studies, Duke University (email preferable to phone) (personal website)

Mohsen Kadivar is Muslim scholar, an Iranian dissident in exile since 2008, a visiting research professor of Islamic studies at Duke and a global ethics fellow with the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison in Iran in 1999 because of his political criticism of the Islamic Republic. He remains active in the opposition Green Movement.


"The Green Movement as well as most reformists do NOT participate in this election. It is not a free, fair and competitive election, rather it is a selection between the loyal servants of the dictator.

"The closest candidate to the reformists and Green Movement was disqualified by Iran's constitutional body -- the Guardian Council. Among the eight qualified candidates, six of them are fundamentalists. Two qualified reformists are weak and under the umbrella of the leader."

                                   _        _        _        _

Duke experts on a variety of other topics can be found at