Iranian Intelligence Minister Seyyed Mahmoud Alavi has called on all presidential candidates to avoid unethical campaign methods.
“My message to the candidates is that the society’s well-being, unity, solidarity and security are more important than political objectives,” Alavi told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet session on Wednesday.
“Whatever the result of the election, the vote of the people must be respected,” he added, advising the candidates against resorting to lies, fabrication and acts against people’s votes to achieve their political goals.
He said that the ministry had foiled a scheme against incumbent president and presidential candidate, Hassan Rouhani, ahead of the May 19 election.
According to Alavi, the ministry had identified and confiscated thousands of T-shirts bearing slogans against Rouhani, such as “Goodbye the administration of words,” “Four years of unemployment and stagnation,” and “I do not vote for Rouhani.”
Alavi said that certain people planned to wear the T-shirts in uptown Tehran, engage in clashes with Rouhani’s pseudo-supporters and then post videos of the sham clashes on social media.
“They intended to exploit this act of psywar for [winning more votes in] the election and [to ensure] their political gains,” he added.
Alavi noted that some people had worn such T-shirts in the campaigning for certain presidential candidates, saying that the Intelligence Ministry was pursuing the issue.
Iranians will go to the polls across the country on May 19 to elect the country’s 12th president.
The six candidates vying in the race are Tehran's current mayor, Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, member of the Expediency Council, Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim, former deputy judiciary chief, Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi, former vice president, Seyyed Mostafa Hashemi-Taba, incumbent first vice president, Es’haq Jahangiri, and Rouhani.