Iran’s only moderate presidential candidate congratulates Raisi on his victory

© Reuters. FILE PHOTOGRAPH: Presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi takes a polling station during the presidential election in Tehran, Iran on June 18, 2021. Majid Asgaripour / WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s moderate presidential candidate has congratulated rival judge Ebrahim Raisi on winning the election, Iranian state media reported on Saturday, while the interior minister said the counting of votes continued.

Millions of Iranians voted Friday in a contest that is expected to hand over the presidency to Raisi, a tough judge who is subject to U.S. sanctions.

“I hope that your government, under the leadership of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will bring comfort and prosperity to our nation,” former central bank chief Abdolnasser Hemmati said in a letter.

In a televised speech, outgoing president Hassan Rouhani congratulated “unelected people (president)”.

“Because it has not yet been officially announced, I will delay official congratulations. But it is clear that he received the votes,” Rouhani said.

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