Iran Election: Rohani Leads in Iran Presidential Vote, Iranian Source Says

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Iranian women show their ink-stained fingers after voting for the presidential elections at a polling station in Tehran on May 19, 2017.
Iranian women show their ink-stained fingers after voting for the presidential elections at a polling station in Tehran on May 19, 2017. Credit: BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP

Interior ministry confirms Rohani has lead

President Hassan Rohani is leading the vote count in Iran's presidential election, interior ministry official Ali Asghar Ahmadi tells reporters.

With 25 million ballots from Friday's election certified by the authorities so far, the pragmatist Rohani won 14.619 million and his hardline conservative challenger Ebrahim Raisi gained 10.125 million, Ahmadi said in a briefing broadcast live on television. He added that the final results would be announced later on Saturday. (Reuters)

Rohani leads in Iran presidential vote, Iranian source says

Iranian President Hassan Rohani leads in Iran's presidential election, an Iranian source told Reuters, citing an early unofficial tally.

"It's over, Rohani is the winner," the source said.

Rohani had won 21.6 million votes, compared to 14 million for his hardline conservative challenger Ebrahim Raisi, with 37 million votes counted, the source added. There were about four million more votes to be tallied, the source said. (Reuters)

Iran: 70 percent turnout in election

The Iranian Interior Ministry says over 40 million votes were cast in the presidential election, or about 70 percent turnout.

The initial signs of strong turnout could be good news for Rouhani, whose backers have long said their biggest worry was apathy among reformist-leaning voters disappointed with the slow pace of change.

Voting ends in Iran presidential election

Voting has ended in Iran's presidential election, state television reported.

"Voting has ended in the election. But those voters still in line will be directed into the polling station and can cast their vote until 2400 (1930 GMT,)," a caption on state television reported.

Voting extended by two hours due to a 'rush of voters'

Iran extended voting by two hours on Friday because of a "rush of voters" in the presidential election, state television reported.

"Polling hours have been extended by two hours until 8 p.m. (1530 GMT)," state TV quoted the interior ministry as saying. Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. (0330 GMT) and had been due to close at 6 p.m. (1330 GMT).

Man sets himself on fire outside Iranian embassy in Bangkok

Thai police said an Iranian man set himself on fire Friday in front of the Iranian Embassy in Bangkok to protest his country's presidential election.

The unidentified man doused himself with gasoline before lighting himself on fire outside the gate of the embassy around noon, police said. The man suffered burns all over his body and was taken to a hospital.

Pol Lt Col Noppadol Samart said the man was protesting Friday's presidential vote in Iran, though he did not know exactly what about the election the man was opposed to.

An unidentified man sits on the ground after he set himself on fire outside the Iranian Embassy Friday, May 19, 2017, in Bangkok, ThailandCredit: /AP

Struggling economy will determine Rohani's fate

Supporters of both candidates focus on two main issues. Rohanis rivals accuse his administration of corruption and economic failure, while his supporters threaten that Raisi will cut Iran off from the world and bury the chance of economy recovery.

The economy, not security or foreign policy, is the name of the game in these elections, and the candidates have toxic ammunition against each other. Rohani can point to significant achievements – inflation fell from about 40 percent in 2013 to a mere 9.5 percent in 2016; growth soared to 6.5 percent; huge foreign investments have poured in; and billion dollar agreements were signed with European states, Russia and the United States. The first new Airbus planes will start landing in Irans airport next week. The auto industry is thriving. Persian carpets were exported to the United States. Iranian oil is flowing back to East Asian markets.

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Iranian President Hassan Rohani casts his vote during the presidential election in Tehran, May 19, 2017.Credit: TIMA/REUTERS

Meet Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian hardliner accused of purging dissidents

A former protegee of Khamenei, Raisi wears a black turban, which in Shia tradition, signifies that he is a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed. He heads the Imam Reza Shrine, a religious foundation with reported assets of $14 million.

His campaign has gained traction through his fiery populist rhetoric. He has vowed to create 1.5 million more jobs a year and to triple cash handouts to the religious poor - though Iran is extremely strapped for cash.

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This file photo taken on April 29, 2017 shows Iranian presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi looking on during a campaign rally in the capital TehranCredit: AFP PHOTO / ATTA KENARE

Iranians go to the polls in first presidential election since nuclear deal

Iranians began voting on Friday in a closely-fought presidential contest between pragmatist President Hassan Rohani and hardline challenger Ebrahim Raisi that could determine the pace of social and economic reform and Iran's re-engagement with the world.

State television showed long queues outside polling stations in several cities and said 56 million Iranians out of the more than 80 million population were eligible to vote.

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Iranians head to the polls for a vote that has become a referendum on President Hassan Rohani's policy of opening up to the world and efforts to rebuild the stagnant economy, May 19, 2017.Credit: BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP

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