Iran has imposed strict media restrictions on both foreign and Iranian journalists ahead of presidential elections on Friday.
According to international watchdogs, visa applications for most foreign journalists wishing to cover the elections have been rejected or ignored.
Those who have been allowed into Iran are being kept under a tight watch. Soazig Dollet from Paris-based organisation, Reporters Without Borders, explained:
“It’s difficult for foreign journalists to move about freely in Iran. They are permanently under the surveillance of mandatory translators chosen by the Tehran regime. It is impossible for them to attend electoral meetings organised by so called “opposition candidates”“.
Internet access within Iran has been either blocked or slowed to a near stand-still as authorities bid to stem the flow of information.
Iranian journalists have not escaped the blackout either. In the run-up to the election they have been targeted along with political activists in regime sponsored arrests and harassment.
Election polls open on Friday, with hardliners still split on one candidate to support, potentially splitting their vote, increasing the chances of victory for moderate candidate Hassan Rohani.
Watching the results with interest will be those denied access to the country, hoping their chances of admittance for future elections may begin on Friday.
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