Prominent figures cast votes in Iran presidential elections

Iranian and international media have been flashing images of prominent political figures who have gone to the polls to cast their ballots across Iran on Friday in the snap presidential election and encourage others to vote in the highly dichotomized voting.

Many reformist candidates, who endorsed Massoud Pezeshkian from the early days the campaigns kicked off, were among the early voters right after the polls opened at 08:00 am local time (04:30 GMT).

Former reformist president Mohammad Khatami, ex-foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his wife, former first vice president Is’haq Jahangiri, Imam Khomeini’s grandson Hassan Khomeini, and former president Hashemi Rafsanjani’s son, Mohsen Hashemi, were among the long list of voters who cast their votes in Tehran’s Jamaran mosque.

Pezeshkian himself, who is a heart surgeon, however, voted in Tehran’s Firouzabadi hospital and was greeted by a large crowd of supporters.

The other presidential hopeful Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf as well as the Judiciary chief Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Eje’i voted in Shahr-e Rey’s Abdul Azim Hassani shrine just outside Tehran.

Former parliament speaker and political heavyweight, Ali Larijani, whose candidacy for the polls was turned down by the vetting Guardian Council, cast his ballot in the northern province of Mazandaran.

Over 64 million people are eligible to vote in the election, including about 10 million Iranians overseas. As a rule of thumb in Iranian elections, voter participation is expected to rise in the final hours of the vote.

The closing time for the polls has initially been set at 06:00 pm (14:30 GMT) but the interior ministry can extend it for multiple two-hour periods until 12:00 pm, depending on the turnout.

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