Reuters: Vote counting starts after heavy turnout in Iran election
Vote counting began in Iran on Saturday after a large turnout in an unexpectedly tight presidential election pitting President Hassan Rouhani, who wants to normalize ties with the West, against a hardline judge who says he has already gone too far.
Friday's voting was extended by at least five hours to 11 p.m. (1830 GMT) because many people were still waiting in line, state television reported. Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli said that by law voting could not continue past midnight.
Rouhani, 68, who swept into office four years ago promising to open Iran to the world and give its citizens more freedom at home, faces an unexpectedly strong challenge from hardliner Ebrahim Raisi, a protege of supreme leader Ali Khamenei.
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