World Rouhani leads Iran presidential race, expected to win-source

06:45  20 may  2017
06:45  20 may  2017 Source:   Reuters

Turnout is key for Iran's election, a challenge for Rouhani

  Turnout is key for Iran's election, a challenge for Rouhani Iran's presidential election may turn on turnout.Historically, the more Iranians who cast ballots, the greater the chance a reformist or a moderate like incumbent President Hassan Rouhani will be elected.However, Rouhani's bid for another four-year term comes amid apathy and grumbling from an electorate that largely hasn't seen the benefits of his signature nuclear deal with world powers. As his opponents promise populist cash handouts to the poor, Rouhani needs all the voters he can to cast ballots on May 19. But even some of his supporters say they may stay home.

Although the incumbent president , Hassan Rouhani , still has a strong lead in Iran 's presidential elections, the latest opinion polls reveal that his main rival, Ebrahim Raisi, is narrowing the gap. Yet Rouhani may face a tougher race than expected .

Error For Your Request . Not Exist This Story. Saudi Arabia, India, Tunisia Felicitate Iran President -Elect Rouhani .

DUBAI/BEIRUT, May 20 (Reuters) - President Hassan Rouhani has an unassailable lead in Iran's presidential election, an Iranian official source told Reuters on Saturday, citing an early unofficial tally, and is on course to defeat his hardline rival Ebrahim Raisi.

Hardliners Chant "Bye Bye" To Rouhani in Tight Iran Election

  Hardliners Chant The race between incumbent President Hassan Rouhani and conservative rival Ebrahim Raisi has been bitter, and Friday's election should to be close."Bye bye, Rouhani," roared the crowd. "At the end of the week, Rouhani is gone.

The known scope of the attack is expected to widen. Iran 's President Hassan Rouhani has said that Friday's presidential election will place the country at a critical juncture, and its people must choose Syrian opposition activists and media say Kurdish- led forces are closing in on the

He has not been able to restore Iran 's economy, which is a source of public discontent and may result in his If Soleimani participates in the presidential election and wins , Rouhani 's arrangements with the Zarif is second on the national approval rating and is leading Rouhani 's proponents by 3 percent.


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"It's over, Rouhani is the winner," the source said on condition of anonymity.

Rouhani had won 21.6 million votes, compared to 14 million for Raisi, with 37 million votes counted, the source added. There were about four million more votes still to be tallied, the source said.

More than 40 million ballots were cast, the interior ministry said, indicating a turnout of about 70 percent in Friday's vote, roughly similar to the showing in 2013 elections when Rouhani swept into office in a landslide victory

State television said the official early results would be announced soon.

The Instagram account of Rouhani ally, former president Mohammad Khatami, showed a picture of Rouhani making a victory sign and ran the slogan "Hope prevailed over isolation."

Polls open in first Iran presidential vote since atomic deal

  Polls open in first Iran presidential vote since atomic deal Iranians began voting Friday in the country's first presidential election since its nuclear deal with world powers, as incumbent Hassan Rouhani faced a staunch challenge from a hard-line opponent over his outreach to the wider world. Load Error The election is largely viewed as a referendum on the 68-year-old cleric's more moderate policies, which paved the way for the nuclear accord despite opposition from hard-liners.Economic issues also will be on the minds of Iran's over 56 million eligible voters as they head to more than 63,000 polling places across the country.

“Raisi has a good chance to win . Polls taken by International Perspectives for Public Opinion on May 10 show Rouhani still leads with about 55 percent of the votes, although such surveys do not have an established record of predicting election outcomes in Iran .

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Rouhani's chief of staff Hamid Aboutalebi tweeted that Rouhani had won 60 percent of the vote. He cited no evidence.

The big turnout appeared to have favored Rouhani, whose backers' main worry has been apathy among reformist-leaning voters disappointed with the slow pace of change.

Rouhani, 68, who took office promising to open Iran to the world and give its citizens more freedom at home, faced an unexpectedly strong challenge from Raisi, a protege of supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

The election is important "for Iran's future role in the region and the world," Rouhani, who struck a deal with world powers two years ago to curb Iran's nuclear program in return for the lifting of most economic sanctions, said after voting.

Raisi, 56, has accused Rouhani of mismanaging the economy and has traveled to poor areas, speaking at rallies pledging more welfare benefits and jobs.

He is believed to have the backing of the powerful Revolutionary Guards security force, as well as the tacit support of Khamenei, whose powers outrank those of the elected president but who normally steers clear of day-to-day politics.

Assad vows to continue working with Iran after Rouhani win

  Assad vows to continue working with Iran after Rouhani win Syria's President Bashar al-Assad lauded his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani Saturday on his election victory and vowed to continue cooperating with Tehran, a key Damascus supporter. Load Error Assad congratulated Rouhani on winning a second term and for earning "the trust the Iranian people gave him to continue bolstering Iran's position and role," according to a statement carried by Syrian state news agency SANA.

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"I respect the outcome of the vote of the people and the result will be respected by me and all the people," Raisi said after voting, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

However, Raisi later appeared at the Ministry of Interior in Tehran on Friday and complained of a shortage of ballot sheets at many polling stations, according to Fars. More ballot sheets were subsequently sent out, the agency reported.

In the last election, Rouhani won more than three times as many votes as his closest challenger. But this time the outcome might be much closer, as other conservative rivals have backed out and thrown their support behind Raisi.

The Guards and other hardliners hope that a win for Raisi will give them an opportunity to safeguard economic and political power they see as jeopardized by the lifting of sanctions and opening of the country to foreign investment.

During weeks of campaigning, the two main candidates exchanged accusations of corruption and brutality in unprecedentedly hostile television debates. Both deny the other's accusations.

What Does Rouhani’s Victory Mean for the Nuclear Deal?

  What Does Rouhani’s Victory Mean for the Nuclear Deal? Rouhani’s victory is a vote of confidence in his reformist vision, but he faces challenges from abroad and home.The reformist president’s pivotal achievement during his first term was the historic deal whereby Tehran agreed to reduce its uranium enrichment and plutonium production in exchange for a winding down of international economic sanctions.

Iranian President Rouhani calls Iran deal victory over war. "Our policy is to continue our peace-seeking efforts in the region based on the same win - win principle, and act in a way that would lead to all in the region and world benefitting from these new conditions," he said.

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Rouhani has urged the Guards not to meddle in the vote, a warning that reflects the political tension. Suspicions that the Guards and the Basij militia under their control falsified voting results in favor of hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad led to eight months of nationwide protests in 2009, which were violently suppressed.


For ordinary Iranians, the election presents a stark choice between competing visions of the country.

Rouhani, known for decades as a mild-mannered establishment insider rather than a gung-ho reformer, has taken on the mantle of the reform camp in recent weeks, with fiery campaign speeches that attacked the human rights records of his opponents.

"I voted for Rouhani to prevent Raisi's victory. I don't want a hardliner to be my president," said Ziba Ghomeyshi in Tehran. "I waited in the line for five hours to cast my vote."

Many pro-reform voters are still lukewarm Rouhani supporters, disappointed with his failure to make broader changes during his first term. But they are anxious to keep out Raisi, who they see as representing the security state at its most fearsome: in the 1980s he was one of four judges who sentenced thousands of political prisoners to death.

"I am on my way to vote for Rouhani. I like his detente policy with the world. I know he is not a reformist, but who cares? What matters is that he is not Raisi," employee Yousef Ghaemi, 43, said by phone in the western city of Kermanshah.

For conservatives, the election represents a chance to restore the values of the 1979 revolution, which requires elected officials to be subordinate to the Shi'ite Muslim clergy and supreme leader.

"I cast my vote already - I voted for Raisi because he is a follower of Imam Khamenei. He will not confront the leader if elected. He will protect our Islamic identity," said Mehran Fardoust, 36, a shopkeeper near the Imam Reza Shrine in the holy city of Mashhad, Raisi's home town.

Despite the removal of nuclear-related sanctions in 2016, lingering unilateral U.S. sanctions that target Iran's record on human rights and terrorism have kept foreign companies wary of investing, limiting the economic benefits so far.

Raisi has focused his campaign on the economy, visiting rural areas and villages and promising housing, jobs and more welfare benefits, a message which could have resonated with millions of poor voters angry at the Tehran elite.

If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two, presumably Rouhani and Raisi, will face each other a second time in a run-off in a week. (Additional reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin, Editing by William Maclean, Mark Trevelyan and Samia Nakhoul)

Rouhani says Iran's ballistic missile program will continue: TV .
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday Tehran would continue its ballistic missile program, state television reported, striking a defiant note after strong criticism of the Islamic Republic from U.S. President Donald Trump. "The Iranian nation has decided to be powerful. Our missiles are for peace and for defense ... American officials should know that whenever we need to technically test a missile, we will do so and will not wait for their permission," Rouhani said in a news conference, broadcast live on state TV.

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