Front-runners Hassan Rouhani and Ebrahim Raisi voted on Friday morning in Iran's closely fought election. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. Iranians are voting in a fiercely contested presidential election on Friday (May 19). The poll sees incumbent Hassan Rouhani facing off against conservative opponent Ebrahim Raisi, ex-conservative culture minister Mostafa Mirsalim and reformist ex-vice president Mostafa Hashemitaba. Rouhani, who is seeking a second term, championed the deal to lift most sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on its disputed nuclear programme, and is a staunch supporter of engagement with the West and liberal reforms to the economy. His main challenger Raisi, a protégé of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has focused his campaign on the economy, visiting rural areas and villages, promising housing, jobs and more welfare benefits for the poor. Some 350,000 security forces are deployed around the country to protect the election, state television reported.