Many of the country’s top officials have already cast their votes with the Leader of the Islamic Republic being the first. He urged the nation to go to the polls early. In response to remarks by a American National Security Council official, the leader stated that the Iranian nation would not be influenced by such remarks and that they would act according to their own beliefs and needs.
Iranians Go To Polls As Leader Khamenei Urged High Turn Out
Iranians are going to the polls to elect their president. Almost 60,000 polling stations opened throughout Iran at 8:00, local time.
More than 200 foreign reporters from 40 countries have come to Iran since last week. The total number of foreign reporters who are covering the election is over 400.
The candidate’s representatives are present in the election committee. Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, the Minister of Interior, said the ministry would investigate any violation reported by the representatives.
Former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, also appeared in a polling station early. He hoped the election would result in solidarity among the nation and save the country from foreign and domestic threats. “Without political epic, economic epic would not happen”, he said.
Ayatollah Jannati who heads the Guardian Council was another top official to cast his vote. “One of the big mistakes that happened in 2009 was that some of the candidates announced themselves the winner before the announcement of the result and this led to the riot. In this round too if someone announces himself the winner before the results are clear he has betrayed the nation,” he said.
Mohammad Khatami, former president and the head of the reformists cast his vote and called on the candidates to be obedient to the rules of the country. “The candidate must be in service of Islam, and the country and its progress. Whether they win or lose, they should be obedient to the system.”
Some of the presidential candidates also have voted so far, including Hassan Rowhani, Mohammad Gharazi, Saeed Jalili, Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, and Mohammad baqer Qalibaf. “We should respect to the people’s votes,” Qalibaf said
Mohammad Reza Aref who quitted the race a few days ago, apologized to his supporters who gathered in the polling station where he voted. The supporters criticized him for withdrawing in favor of Rowhani.
“The whole world is now observing the Iranian people’s support for the system”, said Ali Larijani, the Speaker of the Parliament. He insisted that people’s votes would be safeguarded.