Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini says over 450 foreign reporters are covering the country’s 11th presidential election.
Hosseini said 250 reporters are residents of the Islamic Republic, while 205 foreign reporters have traveled to Iran to cover the Friday election. The Iranian official noted that over 2,000 local reporters and journalists are also covering the presidential, as well as city and rural councils elections. He said journalists from Azerbaijan, Austria, Spain, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Italy, Belarus, Belgium, Turkey, Denmark, Russia, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Finland, Norway, Venezuela, Netherland, India and Greece are present in the country for the election coverage. On Thursday, head of the Foreign Reporters Bureau of Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Alireza Shirvani, said the number of foreign reporters covering the presidential election has increased about 15 percent compared to the presidential race four years ago. Polls officially opened in Iran for presidential and city and rural councils elections at 8:00 am (0330 GMT) on Friday. The president of Iran is elected for a four-year term in a national election. Six candidates, namely President of the Expediency Council’s Center for Strategic Research Hassan Rohani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili, Secretary of the Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, and former Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Gharazi are running in the presidential election. Over 200,000 candidates are also running for city and rural councils elections.