Elections in Iran: What’s to expect from front-runner Ebrahim Raisi? | DW News

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  • DW News published this video item, entitled “Elections in Iran: What’s to expect from front-runner Ebrahim Raisi? | DW News” – below is their description.

    Voting is underway in Iran in a controversial presidential election.

    These voters in Tehran lined up to cast their ballots – but overall turnout is expected to be exceptionally low. There is widespread apathy after hundreds of candidates, including prominent moderates, were barred from running.

    Many voters are also angry over the impact of international sanctions, unemployment, and hardline rule. Three of the four candidates are viewed as hardliners.

    Front-runner Ebrahim Raisi is one of them. The ultraconservative cleric is a staunch ally and protege of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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    In This Story: Iran

    Iran, also called Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. Its central location in Eurasia and proximity to the Strait of Hormuz give it significant geostrategic importance. Tehran is the capital and largest city.

    Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BC. The Iranian Revolution established the current Islamic Republic in 1979.

    Iran’s political system combines elements of a presidential democracy and an Islamic theocracy. Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, OIC, and OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power and has large reserves of fossil fuels — including the world’s largest natural gas supply and the third largest proven oil reserves.

    The country’s rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Historically a multi-ethnic country, Iran remains a pluralistic society comprising numerous ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups, the largest being Persians, Azeris, Kurds, Mazandaranis and Lurs.

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