Assyrian patriarch: Massive turnout guarantees national security

Tehran, May 19, IRNA – Bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East in Iran Mar Narsai Benyamin said on Friday that wide participation of the Iranians in elections guarantees national security.

The bishop, who was casting his vote in Hosseiniyeh Ershad, a religious institute in Tehran, said that people participation in the 12th presidential and the fifth city and village council elections is more than expectation.

Polling stations opened in Iran at 8am (3:30am GMT) and continued until 6pm local time (1:30pm GMT). However, the polling time was extended for two more hours 08:00pm (03:30 GMT) due to massive turnout of the voters.

Over 56 million Iranians are eligible to attend the polling.

Out of the total eligible voters over 1.3 million are those who vote for the first time.

The presidential candidates include President Hassan Rouhani, Custodian of the Imam Reza (AS) Holy Shrine Ebrahim Raeisi, former minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mostafa Aqa Mirsalim and former minister of Physical Education Mostafa Hashemi Taba.