Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani says national unity is the key to the country’s success and tackling of threats.
After casting his ballots on Friday morning, Rafsanjani expressed optimism that the elections would bring about national solidarity in the country.
“National unity is the prerequisite to success and overcoming domestic and foreign threats,” Rafsanjani told reporters.
“National solidarity prepares the ground for the resolution of problems, which can be achieved through public cooperation and rapport and avoiding divisions; divisions that constitute a dangerous poison for our country and nation,” he added.
Among other top officials who cast early ballots were Chairman of the Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi Kani and Chairman of the Guardian Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati.
Ayatollah Mahdavi-Kani said that taking part in the election was a “religious, national and legal duty,” and urged Iranians to take part in the election enthusiastically.
Ayatollah Jannati, for his part, said that the people’s votes will “break the back of the enemies and will be a thorn in their eyes.” He also called on any candidate who wins the election to serve the interests of the people.
Polls officially opened in Iran for presidential, and city and rural council elections at 8:00 am (0330 GMT) on Friday and are scheduled to remain open for ten hours. Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei cast his ballot minutes into the polls.
Nearly 50.5 Iranians are eligible to vote in the June 14 elections. More than 1.6 million of those eligible are first-time voters.
The president of Iran is elected for a four-year term in a national election.
Six candidates, namely President of the Expediency Council’s Center for Strategic Research Hassan Rohani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili, Secretary of the Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, and former Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Gharazi are running in the presidential election.
Over 200,000 candidates are also running for city and rural council elections.
By Press TV
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