Encouraging turnout for Iran's presidential election, says foreign minister

| Updated: May 20, 2017 19:01 IST

Tehran [Iran], May 19 (ANI): Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, has applauded the massive voter turnout for the presidential election. "We are indebted to all Iranians who showcased a magnificent and mindful participation in the elections, both inside and outside the country to preserve the power, security and dignity possessed by Iran and Iranians," the Foreign Minister wrote on an Instagram post. He also tweeted that the Iranian people were the source of stability in the country, and not the coalitions. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">We derive stability not from &quot;coalitions&quot;, but from our people, who -unlike many- do vote. Iranians must be respected & are ready to engage.</p>&mdash; Javad Zarif (@JZarif) <a href="https://twitter.com/JZarif/status/865815474726211584">May 20, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> The current number of votes tallied by the Election Committee of Iran puts incumbent Hassan Rouhani in the lead by 14.6 million votes. His opposing rival Ebrahim Raeisi has won over 10.1 million of the votes tallied while Mostafa Mirsalim and Mostafa Hashemi Taba have won 297, 276 and 139,331 of the votes respectively. More than 40 million ballots have been cast in the 12th Presidential election. Iran's presidential election is expected to have a huge impact on the country's relations with the West and on the Iran nuclear deal which was achieved after years of tough negotiations. The election is seen as a verdict on President Rouhani's policy of opening up Iran to the world and his efforts to revive the economy. President Rouhani has sought to frame the election as a choice between greater civil liberties and extremism. Rouhani, meanwhile, is essentially running for re-election as an outsider, and is backed by Iran's reformist camp. (ANI)

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