Counting underway in Iran Presidential election

Turnout was unprecedented - almost 41 million people voted, or 73.5% of the eligible voters.

In the election which saw close to 41.4 millions being cast, Hassan secured 57% which works out at 23 million votes while his counterpart Ebrahim Raisi received 38% of votes which worked out to 15.7 million votes. The two other lesser known candidates, Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim and Mostafa Hashemi-Taba, got 478,215 and 215,450 votes respectively.

By voting for him, the Iranians have chosen the course of interaction and "no to violence and extremism" in the world, Rouhani said in a televised speech. The turnout was more than 40 million (70%).

French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for his re-election on Saturday and said this reinforced the hope his government would apply the global nuclear agreement, his office said in a statement.

Friday's election was widely seen as a referendum on the 68-year-old cleric's push for greater freedom at home and outreach to the wider world, which culminated in the completion of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal that hard-liners initially opposed.

According to the theocratic system of the Islamic Republic, Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the authority to make final decisions on all political matters.

In Iran, security policy is dominated by conservative institutions overseen by Khamenei.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani won reelection in a landslide Saturday, decisively defeating his hardline opponent Ebrahim Raisi.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whose country has had no diplomatic relations with Iran since 1980, said he hoped Rouhani would use his second term to end Tehran's ballistic missile programme and what he called its network of terrorism.

There are many Rouhani supporters who are willing to argue that the supreme leader had interfered in the elections by constantly criticising the president in the run-up to the elections. Combined with President Trump's decision on Wednesday to waive sanctions, Rouhani's re-election will be another sign of continuity for cautious foreign investors.

Prof Milani noted "the challenges he gave to the IRGC" as well as promises to release reformist leaders held under house arrest.

One way the Guards could re-assert their dominance at home would be to stoke more confrontation overseas, where they provide the shock troops for Iran's interventions in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. He congratulated him for the "confidence that the Iranian people gave to him to go forward in boosting Iran's status in the region and the world". Long lines, however, remained when polling stations closed in major centres such as Tehran and they were unable to vote, IRNA news reported.

  • Leroy Wright