Voting is well under way in Iran’s presidential election, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei casting his ballot in Tehran whilst telling the nation he “did not give a damn” about American suggestions the election was unfair.
Some 50 million voters have to choose from six candidates, all approved by the Guardian Council, and all with a similar conservative point of view.
Leading the hardliners will be Saeed Jalili, but all the men are
critics of the outgoing administration of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, and have insisted they will bring change. Tehran’s outgoing Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf may do well, as he is seen as having improved life in the capital during his tenure.
Public enthusiasm for the vote appeared weak until the final hours of campaigning, when reformists, liberals and moderates threw their weight behind Hassan Rohani. This brought crowds into the streets, although not in the numbers seen in the 2009 election.
The most prominent moderate candidates from that vote, Mir Hussein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, have been under house arrest since then.