Iranians are voting at a presidential election in which four candidates, including incumbent Hassan Rouhani, are competing for the presidential post. The polls opened at 8:00 local time (03:30 GMT) on Friday. More than 54 million people are eligible to vote the election. Exit polls are expected on Saturday.
The main competition is between Rouhani and Ebrahim Raisi, the current chief
of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS) and a former national prosecutor general.
The election will go to a runoff if no candidate wins more than 50% of votes cast.
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who cast his vote immediately after the polls opened, said, "Everyone should vote in this important election."
The Interior Ministry said 63,500 polling stations are being used. They are due
to close at 18:00 (13:30 GMT), however it is very likely that voting be extended
as the turnout seems to be high.
First competition was between six candidates. However, two of them, namely Mohammed Baqer Qalibaf and Es'haq Jahangiri, dropped out of the race on Monday and Tuesday respectively.
Qalibaf, the mayor of Tehran, withdrew candidacy in favor of Raisi and Jahangiri pulled out in favor of Rouhani, his boss.
The two other candidates who are still in the race are former vice president
Mostafa Hashemitaba and former culture minister Mostafa Mirsalim.
In addition, council elections are being held today across the country. In Tehran the competition is between pro-reform candidates campaigning under the slogan of "Hope", who see themselves in alliance with Rouhani, and the principlists who hold the majority in the sitting council.
Mohsen Hashemi, the son of the late Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, is the main figure of the Hope list. The principlist list is led by Mehdi Chamran, the current chairman of the Tehran City Council.
Any group who wins most seats in the 21-member council can decide who will be the mayor.
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