Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei underlined that the Iranian nation attaches no value and pays no heed to enemies’ attempts and propaganda against their massive participation in today’s elections.
“The enemies have made strenuous attempts to prevent people from coming to the polling stations through creating (an atmosphere of) disappointment and pessimism and they even went beyond their media hues and cries to reach this goal as at this period of time the western politicians and figures affiliated to the enemy front are making open attempts against people’s turnout,” Ayatollah Khamenei said on Friday morning after casting his votes for the 11th presidential and the 4th City and Village Councils elections.
He referred to the remarks of the US officials that they don’t recognize the election in Iran, and said, “The Iranian people have never attached any value to the enemies’ views and the nation has always recognized its needs and the country’s interests and has and will decide its choice based on this very basis.”
Ayatollah Khamenei advised people to show early and massive turnout in the elections, and said, “No one, even my relatives are not informed of my vote (to the presidential candidates) and this is the responsibility of the people to study about their (favorite) candidate” by themselves.
Polling started across the country at 08:00 hours Tehran’s time (0330 GMT) Friday for both the Presidential and the City & Village Councils elections concurrently.
Voting will last 10 hours and ends at 6 pm, but it could be extended if necessary. Ballot counting will start at 24:00 Friday and final results will be announced in the following 24 hours.
Presidential campaign kicked off on May 22 after the Guardian Council released the list of 8 qualified candidates – although 6 have remained now – and ended at 8:00 on Thursday.
The qualified candidates represent a wide range of political streams from Principlists to reformers.
There are now 6 candidates left in the race after two of them quitted. They include Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, former Iranian Foreign Minister and Supreme Leader’s top advisor for international affairs Ali Akbar Velayati, Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary and chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, former SNSC Secretary and chief nuclear negotiator Hassan Rouhani, former Oil and Telecommunication Minister Seyed Mohammad Qarazi, and former Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Secretary of the Expediency Council Mohsen Rezayee.
According to presidential election laws, all Iranian nationals above 18 years of age are eligible to vote.