Iran TV censors Rouhani documentary ahead of elections

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s state TV Saturday censored a documentary released by President Hassan Rouhani’s campaign, ahead of the upcoming presidential election.

A report by the semi-official ILNA did not elaborate but a Rouhani campaign official confirmed to The Associated Press that state TV had cut parts of “President Rouhani”.

He said one censored segment showed supporters chanting for opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has been under house-arrest since 2011 and whose Green Movement hard-liners oppose. Also omitted was a picture of former President Mohammad Khatami, whose name and image have been banned in Iranian media since 2015.

He said state TV also cut out a remark by a student in which he said Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenea supported the 2015 landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.

The documentary was a collection of Rouhani’s past speeches, on various issues, during his visits to various provinces.

State TV did not immediately provide any comment.

Earlier this week Khatami announced his support for Rouhani, and Mousavi is also considered a Rouhani supporter.

The moderate Rouhani, who vowed to lift Mousavi’s house arrest in his 2013 campaign, is running in the May 19 election against five other candidates. That promise remains to be fulfilled.

In a separate report, the official IRNA news agency published the results of a Monday survey in which nearly 64 percent of a 6,047 person sample group said they will be voting, while 20 percent said they were undecided.

It added that some 55 percent had already decided on their candidates; 45 percent said they support the moderate-reformist camp, while more that 23 percent supported the conservative hard-liner groups.

Additionally, the survey asked where they would seek guidance for their vote; some 50 percent said they would decide for themselves, 16 percent said they would follow the lead of friends and relatives in making their decision, 14 percent said they would refer to clerics, 13 percent to political groups, six percent to university students and academics, and 1.3 percent said they would emulate artists and athletes.

Rouhani won the 2013 presidential election with nearly 51 percent of 37 million votes in a 73 percent turnout. There are some 55 million eligible voters in the upcoming election.