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Live Blog: Rohani Declared Winner Of Presidential Vote

Rohani's victory in what turned out to be a two-man presidential race could reinvigorate efforts for an economic and diplomatic thaw with the West.


Iran's interior minister said President Hassan Rohani -- seen casting his ballot on May 19 -- won reelection with around 57 percent of the vote, easily avoiding a runoff.

Summary

-- Iranian officials have declared President Hassan Rohani winner of the May 19 vote with around 57 percent of ballots, easily avoiding a runoff against conservative former prosecutor Ebrahim Raisi, who was said to have received about 38.5 percent of votes cast.

-- In a victory speech, Rohani said the Iranian people were the "real victors" of the election and that Iran had chosen "engagement with the world" in voting for him, rejecting extremism. But as Rohani knows very well, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei holds ultimate political, military, and religious power in Iran, and can easily derail a campaign or thwart the plans of a president.

-- Six men were approved to run by the Guardians Council from more than 1,600 applicants, but it quickly boiled down to a two-man race between Raisi and Rohani, an establishment veteran who oversaw a breakthrough nuclear deal with world powers to ease sanctions and pushed for engagement with the West and greater openness for Iranians.

-- Raisi has long been talked about as a possible successor to Khamenei, and it's unclear what effect a landslide loss might have on his political ambitions.

*NOTE: Times are stated according to local time in Tehran (GMT +4 1/2)

13:38 19.5.2017

Polls have opened in Iran where Iranians are standing in lines to choose between incumbent President Hassan Rohani who has promised engagement with the West and more freedom, and hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi who has called for self-sufficiency to improve the economy.

13:41 19.5.2017

In some neighborhoods in Tehran, people are standing in long lines to cast their ballot. A man in Golhak told us he waited for about two hours to vote.

13:43 19.5.2017

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei cast his vote in Tehran shortly after polls opened at 8 a.m. local time.

13:47 19.5.2017

Iran's former reformist President Mohammad Khatami voted in Jamaran. He has endorsed President Hassan Rohani.

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