Tue May 9, 2017 06:00PM
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called on Canada to lay the ground for the Iranian nationals residing in the North American country to cast their votes in the forthcoming presidential election.

“Iranians living abroad are extremely keen to participate in the determination of their countries’ future,” Zarif said in a phone call with Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on Tuesday.

He added that the Iranians in Canada have made repeated request to take part in the presidential election on May 19.

Freeland, for her part, commended the positive presence of the Iranian communities in her country and said the Canadian government is mindful of the significance of the presidential election for the Iranian residents.

She, however, added that some “technical issues” should be discussed and settled given the absence of political relations between Tehran and Ottawa, closure of Iranian diplomatic sites, and Canada’s domestic regulations on polls involving other countries’ citizens.

Iranians will go to the polls on May 19 to elect the country’s next president. Campaigning began on April 21 for Iran's 12th presidential election.

The six candidates contesting the May presidential election include incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, member of Iran’s Expediency Council Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim, Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi, the current custodian of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH) in the northeastern city of Mashhad and former vice president Mostafa Hashemi-Taba.

Eligible voters

The head of the Interior Ministry's State Elections Committee, Ali Asghar Ahmadi, said on Tuesday that 56,410,234 Iranians are eligible to vote in the upcoming presidential election.

He added that the Iranian expatriates living in other countries would be permitted to vote by their passports.

The Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for consular, parliamentary, and expatriates’ affairs, Hassan Qashqavi, said on April 26 that the expatriates can cast their ballots in the presidential election in as many as 103 foreign countries.

He said there would be 279 polling stations in Iranian missions abroad, including embassies and consulate generals, where the foreign-based Iranian nationals would be able to vote.

Read more: