Iran just held its first election since the nuclear deal
Iran went to the polls on Friday, the country’s first election since the controversial 2015 nuclear deal.
The two frontrunners are incumbent president and moderate Hassan Rouhani, and Ebrahim Raisi, a hard-line conservative who favors isolationism. It’s been a bitter campaign: Rouhani has called his opponents extremists, while Raisi has accused Rouhani of corruption.
Raisi is a critic of the nuclear deal and has campaigned to fight inequality and corruption. Rouhani favors engaging in dialog with the West; he secured the nuclear deal, lifting sanctions that helped stabilize the economy. But economic growth hasn’t happened as quickly as expected, and many Iranian’s aren’t experiencing any change; unemployment remains high at 12.5 percent overall, with youth unemployment around 30 percent.
Iran has 56 million eligible voters, and given voter turnout for the 2013 election was nearly 73 percent, high turnout is again expected. Voters have until 8pm local time on Friday night to cast their ballot, with first partial results expected to arrive Saturday morning.