UAE: Iranian expats can vote in June 28 election from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, ambassador says

Ameri assured that the country's leadership transition would proceed without disruption following President Raisi's death


Waad Barakat

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KT Photo: Shihab
KT Photo: Shihab

Published: Thu 20 Jun 2024, 2:59 PM

Last updated: Thu 20 Jun 2024, 11:25 PM

Iran will hold its presidential election on June 28, following the death of Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash. Iranian expats across the UAE will be able to cast their vote to help the country elect its next president, a top diplomat told Khaleej Times.

According to Iranian Ambassador Reza Ameri, polling stations will be set up at the country's embassy in Abu Dhabi and consulate in Dubai.

"Presidential elections will be held on June 28. We will take the necessary measures for Iranians in the UAE to attend polling stations at the embassy and our consulate in Dubai,” Ameri declared.

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Ameri assured that the country's leadership transition would proceed without disruption following President Raisi's death. “There has not been any disruption in the country's administration, and we are stronger. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared that the nature of things and the country's administration must proceed normally," he noted.

Iran's presidential elections were originally slated for 2025 but were brought forward following Raisi's unexpected death on May 19. Thousands of mourners amassed in central Tehran's Valiasr Square to pay their respects to Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. In the UAE, a condolence book is open to both authorities and expats.

Ameri also thanked regional and world leaders for their condolences, including UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed who attended Raisi's funeral in Tehran. “We also opened a condolence book for those who offered their respects,” added the Iranian ambassador who arrived in the UAE in June last year.

Reza Ameri deeply mourned President Ebrahim Raisi. He died at the age of 63 in a helicopter crash in mountainous terrain near the Azerbaijan border last month. Ameri described the former leader as someone “who was deeply connected with the Iranian people."

"(President Raisi) had the habit of visiting rural areas and the countryside. He strongly believed that leaders and officials should get out of their offices to solve problems," Ameri told Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview.

"He used to say, 'I had to see the situation on the ground’. So, he had programmes every week or two weeks to visit at least one Iranian province. He personally checked and heard our people's problems."

Recalling the fateful incident, Ameri said: “What happened was the late President opened a joint dam between Iran and Azerbaijan. After that, he was supposed to visit Tabriz to open another project.

“Then the helicopter accident at the Tabriz border happened. It resonated in Iran and outside the country because the president was well-loved, and so was Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, who had an active foreign policy. We lost two of our most influential and prominent figures,” said Ameri.

Solution in Gaza

Meanwhile, when asked about his opinion on the eight-month-old war in Gaza, Ameri reiterated Iran's long-standing position: "We believe the problem began 75 years ago after Israel occupied Palestine. The main problem is occupation, and the only solution is to remove it.”

Ameri strongly condemned Israel's military actions in Gaza, underscoring: “Israel made a very big mistake after it entered Gaza, attacked citizens, and killed children and the elderly."

He expressed Iran's support for Palestinian resistance and called for an immediate halt to the "unjust war" and respect for Palestinian rights. “This unjust war must stop immediately. Aid must be delivered smoothly to the Palestinian people, who must return to their homes. Israel must recognise Palestinian rights,” he added.


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