Two reformist contenders in the parliamentary elections were prevented from giving speeches in Karaj, as conservative factions of the Islamic Republic establishment gear up to keep reformists from reaching the public.
Rasoul Montakhabnia and Hadi Ghaffari were supposed to give speeches at a Karaj Mosque on Thursday and Friday, December 10 and 11, but a group of opponents gathered in front of the venue and kept the event from taking place.
Pressure groups have been organizing through social media networks such a WhatsApp and Telegram to block reformist political messages. They refer to reformist election campaigners as “the new plan for infiltration by seditionists” and organize protests to prevent their speeches.
ILNA has published a number of images and logos used online by these groups.
The social media efforts reportedly led to the gathering of 100 protesters in front of the venue in Karaj yesterday. They shouted slogans such a “death to seditionists!”.
The event was cancelled, even though the Karaj special governor had said a few hours earlier that he would not allow people to disrupt the city through exchanges on social media.
With Iran’s parliamentary election slated for March, recent months have seen conservatives intensify their pressure tactics to disrupt reformist campaign efforts.