Who Will Decide the Presidential Elections in Iran? An Expert Reveals the Details

The voting process for the second round of the Iranian presidential elections began on Friday morning, both inside the country and abroad, according to the official Iranian news agency IRNA. More than 60 million Iranians are expected to vote between two candidates: the reformist Masoud Pezeshkian and the conservative Saeed Jalili, to succeed the late President Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash on May 19.

The Runoff

The runoff comes after the top four candidates failed to obtain at least 50% plus one of the votes during the first round held on June 28. In the first round, Masoud Pezeshkian received 10,415,991 votes (42%), followed by the hardliner Saeed Jalili with 9,473,298 votes (39%). In third place was the ultraconservative Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf with 3,383,340 votes (14%), and in last place, the moderate Mostafa Pourmohammadi with 206,397 votes (1%).

In recent days, two debates took place, where the candidates exchanged sharp criticisms and heated discussions, expressing two opposing visions from different camps. Former President Hassan Rouhani expressed this divergence by stating: “There are two completely opposing visions, one candidate sees sanctions as a disaster, while the other sees them as a blessing. One candidate wishes to strengthen Iran’s relations with the world, while the other is skilled at building walls around the country.”

The Frontrunner

Dr. Mohammad Mohsen Abu Al-Nour, president of the Arab Forum for Iranian Policy Analysis, revealed on Friday the reality of the scene in Iran since eight in the morning in front of polling stations for the Iranian elections. He stated that the turnout was weak at the beginning and continued to decrease, despite expectations of an increase in the last hours.

He added that it is difficult to make predictions given the strong participation from conservatives and the presence of only one reformist. However, opinions within Iran predict a victory for the reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian due to the division among conservatives.

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