Iranians cannot vote in Canada in upcoming election

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TEHRAN – According to the federal Canadian government, no polling stations will be set up for Iranian citizens in Canada to participate in Iran’s upcoming presidential election.

The decision came a month after Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York sent a diplomatic note to Canadian officials requesting that polling stations be established for the May 19 election, according to the Iranian interests section at the Pakistani embassy in Washington.

The request was denied by the Canadian government, as it generally requires foreign countries to set up their polling stations at their diplomatic missions in Canada, and Iran does not have a diplomatic presence in the North American country.

On Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry officials met with a visiting Canadian delegation in Tehran to discuss the issue. But the talks held so far have not borne fruit.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has also said the current Canadian government is not able to provide the necessary means to hold the election as Tehran does not have diplomatic missions in the country.

“The previous government of Canada cut diplomatic ties with Iran, and as a result, we do not have diplomatic presence in Canada,” Zarif said.

He urged the Iranians who live in Canada cast their ballots in a nearby American city.

“In a phone conversation I had with Canada’s foreign minister, he said they were willing to set up the polling stations but were unable to make the necessary arrangements to do so,” Zarif said.

Iranians will cast their ballots on May 19 to elect their next president among the six candidates who were qualified to run by the Guardian Council.

The six candidates 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.

Iranians can cast their ballots in the forthcoming election in as many as 103 foreign countries, the Foreign Ministry has said.