The 12th presidential election started in Iran
More than 63 thousand polling stations at the presidential elections in Iran opened at 08.00 local time (06.30 Moscow time). The ballots show four candidates: Hassan Rouhani balloting for the second presidential term, the former Attorney-General of IRI Ebrahim Raisi, the ex-Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mostafa Aga Mirsalim and the former Minister of Industry Mostafa Hashemi of Taba.The first two candidates are called obvious favorites, while according to the results of public opinion polls, their chances of winning are approximately equal.
To win the election it is necessary to collect more than 50% of votes. If no one of the candidates can do it, the second round will take place, in which two leaders will take part. The president of Iran is elected by direct, popular vote for four years. He can not hold more than two presidential terms in a row.
The senior research associate of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), PhD in Historical sciences, Elena Dunaeva noted that the elections will have one round, because neither Aga Mirsalim nor Hashemi Taba will be able to gain more than 3-4%. The main competition will be between Ruhani and Raisi, she pointed out.
In turn, Lava Ravandi-Fadai, the senior research associate at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies of the RAS, also expects that the elections will be held in one round, and the incumbent President Hasan Ruhani will win in them.
Vladimir Sazhin, the senior researcher of the Center for the Study of Eastern and Eastern Studies of the RAS, first of all paid attention to the fact that Iran policy strongly influences for situation in the Middle East and therefore the election result is extremely important. He also noted that by tradition in Iran all his presidents entered the second term. "In April, I was in Tehran, where many believe that, despite all the difficulties, the current president of Rukhani will win", expert said.