Iran’s moderate presidential candidate congratulated his hardline competitor, hardline judge Ebrahim Raisi, on his victory in the election, according to Iranian state media on Saturday, as the interior ministry confirmed vote counting proceeded.
Millions of Iranians voted on Friday in a referendum that was widely anticipated to give the president to Raisi, a conservative jurist sanctioned by the United States.
“I hope your government, under the leadership of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will bring comfort and prosperity to our nation,” said former central bank chief Abdolnasser Hemmati in a letter, media said.
In a televised speech, outgoing President Hassan Rouhani congratulated “the people’s elected (president)”, without naming him.
“Because it has not been officially announced yet, I will delay the official congratulations. But it is clear who received the votes,” Rouhani said.
Writing by Parisa Hafezi