Minister: Iran preparing for presidential runoff elections

Iran’s interior minister says preparations are in place for a “great election” on Friday to elect a successor to the late president Ebrahim Raisi, calling on the nation to show strong participation.

Ahmad Vahidi told reporters on Wednesday that the security arrangements have been made across the country for the election day.

He rejected accusations by reformist candidate Massoud Pezeshkian that the governors appointed by the current administration are campaigning for their allegedly favorite candidate Saeed Jalili.

He echoed remarks by Iran’s Leader that people’s ballots should be protected and said the priority for officials is a high turnout in a healthy election environment.

Pezeshkian and Jalili failed to win an outright victory in the first round of the election on July 28 and have to race for office in the runoff, to be held on Friday.

The turnout in the first round was 40 percent. Analysts believe in case the voter apathy drags into the runoff, Jalili will emerge as the winner.

Pezeshkian runs on a platform of improving the sanctions-hit economy and staying away from confrontational policies in the international arena.

He is in favor of revitalizing the Iran nuclear deal, JCPOA, and Iran joining the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), aimed at tackling money laundering, terrorism, and proliferation financing.

This is while Jalili says Iran has suffered much from the JCPOA, making more than enough concessions to the Western parties to the deal. He is also against Iran joining the FATA, saying it will give the West access to Iran’s financial system.

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