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Polls open in first Iran presidential vote since atomic deal


A CNN crew in a north Tehran, where there are a lot of moderate Rouhani supporters, saw long lines all day at one polling station, with some people waiting up to three hours to vote despite the scorching heat.

According to a data in Al Jazeera, Rouhani reportedly brought down inflation from 40 percent in 2013 to a mere 6.5 percent. the FirstPost report also suggested that Iran also registered a 12.5 percent growth under the reign of Rouhani. but then again figures like the unemployment rates does in a way go against this jolly figures of inflation and growth, as reports claim that 21.8 percent male and 10.4 percent female are still unemployed.

Voter apathy is a threat to the Islamic regime, which stakes its legitimacy on a high turnout every four years.

His closest opponent is conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi, who has cast doubt on the benefits of the nuclear deal.

Iranian elections are run by the country's Interior Ministry, which oversees the nation's police forces. But Raisi has powerful backers among Iran's powerful security establishment and its ruling clerics, led by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameni.

Any Iranian 18 or older can vote in Friday's election.

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Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who cast his vote immediately after the polls opened, said, "Everyone should vote in this important election".

The nuclear deal brokered with the USA and European Union has been called into question by the Trump administration, and the lifting of sanctions has not created economic opportunities many had hoped for.

It's last-minute campaigning for Iran's Presidential election.

The "era of violence and extremism is over", Rouhani said at a rally this month. Ahmadinejad, who ran on a populist platform that sought to redistribute wealth across Iranian society, had no interest in curtailing Iran's nuclear program and questioned Israel's right to exist.

Raisi won the support of two major clerical bodies and promised to boost welfare payments to the poor. Even if inflation has dropped from 35 percent to less than 10 percent, increased oil production and ended some of the global sanctions, the unemployment rate increased up to 12.1 percent, a situation even worse for workers aged 15-24 with 29 percent of them without a job. Opposition websites have said the Green Movement leaders have endorsed Rowhani against Raisi. Reformist voters highlight Mr Raisi's part in some of Iran's darkest times: in the Eighties he was a judge on the "death commissions" that sent thousands of political prisoners to the gallows and firing squads.

He has done this "perhaps as a form of strategic ambiguity", Sabet said, which is "intended to keep negative attention focused on his rival".

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iranians head to the polls Friday to vote in the Islamic Republic's presidential election, casting ballots in a contest largely seen as a referendum on the country's nuclear deal with world powers.

The president and his popular foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif were swarmed by supporters as they voted early in the capital.

That hasn't stopped those at Rowhani rallies from shouting for house arrested leaders of the 2009's Green Movement. Although the supreme leader did not single out any candidate, it was easy to read it as aimed at Rouhani.

The truth is more complex: Elections in Iran are hugely significant in shaping Tehran's foreign and domestic policy.

Although Rouhani has an incumbent's advantage, his promised economic revival is seen by many as having fallen short of his stated goals, and he has been the target of unceasing and strong allegations of corruption. Though Iran is likely to continue with its pragmatic policy towards the US and the West in general, a conservative government would alienate Russian Federation and give the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel more reason to push back against Iran's strategy in Iraq, Syria and the Gulf region.

Economic issues will also be on the minds of Iran's more than 56 million voters as they head to polling stations across the country.

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An independent poll showed Rohani almost 20 points ahead of Raisi on the eve of the vote, although polling is notoriously unreliable in Iran and many voters reportedly remained undecided.

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