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UPDATE 3-Reasonable Iranian candidate congratulates Raisi for election win

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(Provides context)

By Parisa Hafezi

DUBAI, June 19 (Reuters) – Iran’s reasonable presidential candidate congratulated his hardline rival Ebrahim Raisi for profitable the election, state media reported on Saturday, as the inside ministry mentioned counting of the votes continued.

Thousands and thousands of Iranians voted on Friday in a contest that has been anticipated at hand the presidency to Raisi, a 60-year-old senior choose who’s topic to U.S. sanctions for alleged human rights abuses.

“I hope your administration, beneath the management of Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will make the Islamic Republic proud, enhance livelihood and make sure the nation’s well-being and welfare,” media quoted former central financial institution chief Abdolnasser Hemmati as saying in a letter.

In a televised speech, outgoing President Hassan Rouhani congratulated “the folks’s elected (president)”, with out naming him.

“As a result of it has not been formally introduced but, I’ll delay the official congratulations. However it’s clear who obtained the votes,” Rouhani mentioned.

Different candidates additionally congratulated Raisi.

The inside ministry was to announce the ultimate outcomes in a while Saturday because the counting of the votes continued, state TV mentioned.

Raisi is a harsh critic of the West and the usual bearer of Iran’s safety hawks. Accused by critics of human rights abuses stretching again many years – allegations his defenders deny – Raisi was appointed by Khamenei to the high-profile job of judiciary chief in 2019.

Hoping to spice up their legitimacy, the nation’s clerical rulers had urged folks to end up and vote on Friday, however dissidents inside and overseas mentioned standard anger over financial hardship and curbs on freedoms saved many Iranians at dwelling.

One other deterrent for a lot of pro-reform voters was a scarcity of selection, after a hardline election physique barred heavyweight reasonable and conservative candidates from standing.

Opinion polls advised turnout was round 44%, decrease than earlier elections.

Analysts mentioned the exclusions by the Guardian Council cleared the best way for Raisi’s anticipated victory.

Earlier than Hemmati’s concession, a U.S. State Division spokesperson mentioned “Iranians have been denied their proper to decide on their very own leaders in a free and truthful electoral course of” – a possible reference to the disqualification of candidates.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi Modifying by William Mallard and Frances Kerry)

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