Voting under way in Iran’s snap presidential election

Iranians will vote for a new president on Friday, following the death of Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in May. Four candidates, loyal to the supreme leader, are still in the running.

More than 61 million people go to the polls today (Friday) to elect a new president in Iran. The vote comes after President Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash last month near the border with Azerbaijan. Elections are considered a referendum on the system and on the establishment in the country, but the projected turnout could be a new all-time low. Election turnout has been plummeting over the past four years as Iranians do not expect to see change anyway. 

Indeed, the election is unlikely to bring a major shift in the Islamic Republic’s policies. Top state matters, such as the country’s nuclear programme or support for militia groups in the region, remain in the hands of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. The president, however, deals with the day-to-day governance of the country and can therefore influence Iran’s tone of voice on foreign and domestic policy matters. The election outcome could furthermore influence the succession to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has been in power since 1989. 

A total of six candidates out of an initial pool of 80 were approved to run during the election, with four remaining on election day. The race is broadly seen as a three-way contest, though. Two hardliners, former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and parliamentary speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, are fighting over the same bloc, while the more moderate Masoud Pezeshkian, a heart surgeon, aims at reformist voters. The latter hopes to benefit from his rivals’ failure to consolidate the hardline vote.

The fact that there’s a split vote among the conservatives means that the likelihood of a run-off is real, as a candidate must get 50% of the vote to take the presidency. Whoever finally emerges as the Islamic Republic’s ninth president, be it after the 28 June vote or following a runoff, will face significant challenges. Iran currently grapples with economic hardships, escalating regional tensions and increased Western pressure over its nuclear programme.


An Iranian woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Arbil, the capital of Iraq's northern autonomous Kurdish region © Safin HAMID / AFP

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels