TEHRAN - The Iranian president on Friday urged people to vote and help the winning candidate with unity and empathy, as voters gathered at polling stations to elect a new president.
After casting his vote at a polling station in Tehran, Hassan Rouhani, who is also a candidate in the ongoing presidential election, said mass turnout in elections strengthened national power and security.
He said this was a happy day for the people of Iran as their vote would determine their destiny, as well as that of their children and future generations.
Rouhani managed to remove Iran from its isolation with the signing of the nuclear agreement with six major powers in July 2015, one of his main electoral assets.
His main rival is the conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi, who is the custodian of the mausoleum of Imam Reza in the city of Mashad and is close to supreme leader Ali Khamenei.
The other two candidates, who generally enjoy less popularity, are the conservative former Minister of Culture Mostafa Mir-Salim and the reformist former Minister of Industries Mostafa Hashemitaba.
Rouhani and Hashemitaba came early to vote, as did the supreme leader, who urged voters to participate in the important elections since the fate of the country was in their hands.
The election is expected to be resolved in the first round, but if no candidate exceeds the 50 percent plus one vote required to win, a second round is to be held within one week.