Iran’s interior ministry says voting in the country’s presidential election has ended.
Iranians had waited in line for hours in wilting heat at some polling stations in central Tehran and other cities, casting ballots across the vast country from desert outposts to Gulf seaports and nomad pastures. Voting was extended by five hours to meet demand, but also as possible political stagecraft to showcase the participation.
The turnout suggested liberals and others abandoned a planned boycott as the election evolved into a showdown across the Islamic Republic’s political divide.
The election will decide a successor to president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
More than 50 million eligible voters have been choosing from the six candidates who in the race – a moderate, four conservatives and a hardliner.
All are loyal to supreme leader ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters.