In Iran, Heavy Voter Turnout Seen as a Plus for President Rouhani

Iranians lined up at polling places in such numbers on Friday that Iranian election officials extended the voting three separate times, first by two hours, then four hours and finally five hours.

Analysts said the heavy turnout was a good sign for the incumbent, President Hassan Rouhani, a professed moderate who has pursued better relations with the West, against Ebrahim Raisi , a hard-line judge who campaigned as a corruption fighter and called on Iran to solve its own economic problems without help from foreigners.

The election is also being interpreted in the West as a gauge of support for the 2015 accord that Iran reached with six world powers, including the United States, to limit its nuclear program . For Iranians, though, the economy and freedom of expression seemed to be bigger issues.

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