0416 GMT August 04, 2021
Iranian people and officials went to polling stations across the country in masses on Friday to select the country’s eighth president from among four final candidates.
The candidates in the 13th presidential election included Judiciary Chief Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi; Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei; former Central Bank governor Abdolnaser Hemmati; and Member of Parliament Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh-Hashemi.
In addition to the candidates themselves, among the senior officials and major political figures who cast their votes on Friday were Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif; Health Minister Saeed Namaki; Culture Minister Seyyed Abbas Salehi; Iranian President’s Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi; Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani; Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf; Tehran Mayor Pirouz Hanachi; former Parliament speaker Ali Larijani; Tehran Police Chief Brigadier General Hossein Rahimi; senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei Ali Akbar Velayati; head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi and Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi, IRNA reported.
Other prominent figures included Iran’s top nuclear negotiator under ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a presidential candidate until the very last day – prior to pulling out in Raeisi’s favor, Saeed Jalili; and Seyed Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of the late founder of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini.
After casting his vote, FM Zarif said polling stations are the best places for deciding “our fate, our children’s future and the country’s path”.
After voting, Health Minister Namaki called on the people to take part in the election enthusiastically and consciously regardless of their political inclinations and differences.
Parliament Speaker Qalibaf said that elections are an asset of the country’s religious democracy and, in fact, an outcome of people’s efforts to preserve and protect the Islamic Republic.
After casting his vote, principlist candidate, Rezaei, noted in an address to the Iranian people that their participation in the election will increase Iran’s power and ensure its security.
Larijani cast his vote and then said, “Today, national interests are more important than anything else. Disorders and dissatisfactions should not prevent people from going to the polling stations.”
Principlist candidate Raeisi voted and said the rights of anyone holding an Iranian ID must be preserved, saying he is the people’s servant.
After voting, presidential candidate Hemmati noted that even if he fails to win the election, he will continue serving the people and pursuing his goals, saying Iranians have the right to live in peace and prosperity.
The culture minister described the voter turnout and the Iranian people as delightful and amazing, respectively.
The Tehran mayor said the people’s significant participation in the election on June 18 will become a turning point in the country’s contemporary history.
SNSC’s secretary stressed that the voter turnout is far more important than the result of the elections.
Ghazizadeh-Hashemi described the June 18 political event as the most important election in the history of the country, saying a high voter turnout will ensure the country’s stability and security.
Commenting on the election, the president’s Chief of Staff Vaezi said, “Today is a very important day for the country’s next four years. People should know that Iran belongs to them and participate widely and enthusiastically in the election in view of the country’s highly sensitive present domestic and foreign situation.”
Polls opened across the country at 07:00 a.m. local time (0230 GMT) on Friday.
Nearly 60 million Iranians were eligible to vote. From the early hours of voting, long queues were formed by polling stations.
Concurrent with the presidential vote, the city and village councils, as well as midterm parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections were held on Friday.