Preliminary results of the 2021 presidential election in Iran showed Ebrahim Raisi leading with at least 17.8 million votes out of 28.6 million so-far verified votes.

Jamal Orf, the head of the country's election headquarters, announced at midday on Saturday, June 19, that more than 90 percent of the votes cast on Friday had now been counted.

Conservative frontrunner Ebrahim Raisi received more than 17.8 million votes, followed by IRGC commander Mohsen Rezaei with 3.3 million votes, reformist and ex-Central Bank governor Abdolnasser Hemmati with a little over 2.4 million votes, and Amirhossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi with about one million votes.

However, a massive proportion of the votes – more than 4.1 million at this stage of the count – were declared to have been invalid. Earlier on Friday there had been multiple allegations of ballot-stuffing, votes being mis-stamped and breakdowns to the electronic voting system.

Candidates Line Up to Congratulate Conservative Winner

By noon on Sunday Ebrahim Raisi had 62 percent of the votes cast by a little under half of the Iranian electorate. His rival candidates had all conceded and congratulated him on his win before this announcement was made.

Reformist candidate Abdolnasser Hemmati called Raisi "Ayatollah" in a message posted on his Instagram page. Part of it read: "I hope that His Excellency's government, with its measures and actions in the domestic and international arena under the leadership of Ayatollah Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, will make the Islamic Republic of Iran proud, improve livelihood and bring comfort and welfare to the Iranian great nation."

Fellow candidate Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi also congratulated Raisi and said he would provide the new government with his support. He also thanked the Guardian Council for confirming his own eligibility to run.

Mohsen Rezaei, for his part, called turnout in this election a "glorious epic". He wrote to Raisi: "My dear brother Ayatollah Haj Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, I congratulate you and ask God to continue his support for you in this serious responsibility."

The outgoing president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, also said in a speech - without actually naming Raisi - that "the president-elect is clear". He added: "I congratulate the elected person, but as this has not been officially announced, I postpone my official congratulations."

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