Mar 01, 2024 06:29 UTC

Iranians are heading to the polls to cast their ballots for the country’s Parliament (Majlis) and Assembly of Experts.

The polls opened across Iran at 8 a.m. local time (0430) on Friday with more than 61 million people eligible to vote across the country.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei cast his ballot at a polling station in Tehran in the first minutes of voting. 

“We ask the Almighty God to make today a happy day for the Iranian nation and that the results of the efforts of our dear people and those involved in the various issues of the elections may reach the desired results and benefit the Iranian nation," he said after voting. 

“Our dear nation should know that today the eyes of many people in the world, both individuals and politicians and those who hold prestigious national and political positions, are on Iran and you.

"They want to see what you are doing in this election and what will be the result of your election. Both our friends and people who are interested in the Iranian nation, as well as ill-wishers from all sides, the eyes observe the issues of our country and our beloved nation. Pay attention to this; make friends happy and disappoint the ill-wishers.”  

The Leader repeated his recommendation to the voters in the previous elections to head to the polls and vote as early as possible.

"The second recommendation is to vote for as many people as you need, not fewer, in any constituency. For example, in Tehran, vote for 30 people in the Islamic Consultative Assembly and for 16 people in the Assembly of Experts of the Leadership," he added.

Voters are taking part in the parliamentary elections to choose 290 members of the legislative body from over 15,000 candidates. Elected members will serve for a term of four years in the parliament.

In another election being held simultaneously, participants are voting for 88 members of the Assembly of Experts, a body with an eight-year mandate that is in charge of overseeing the activities of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and is in a position of authority to either appoint or dismiss the Leader.

Spokesman for the Iranian police Brigadier General Saeed Montazer-al-Mahdi said 190,000 police forces are on duty to ensure the security of the elections.

"There is no law enforcement or security problem envisaged," Montazer-al-Mahdi said, adding, “Everything is under control from the borders to the center, and the country's border guards are on full alert and monitor border traffic.”

Article Six of the Iranian Constitution reiterates that the administration of the affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran should be based on the public opinion expressed by the means of elections.

Iran has held 40 rounds of different elections, including presidential and parliamentary ones, since the victory of the Islamic Revolution.