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Iranians to vote in pres. election in 102 countries: Foreign Ministry

Hassan Qashqavi, Iran's deputy foreign minister for consular, parliamentary, and expatriates’ affairs

Iran’s Foreign Ministry says expatriates can cast their ballots in the country's 12th presidential election at 310 polling stations in 102 countries.

Hassan Qashqavi, the deputy foreign minister for consular, parliamentary, and expatriates’ affairs, told IRNA on Thursday that there would be 55 polling stations in the US, 21 in the United Arab Emirates, 22 in Iraq and 12 in Britain, where Iranian nationals would be able to vote.

As previous talks for holding elections in Canada failed to bear fruit, it has been agreed that several ballot boxes be set up on the North American country's border with the US, he said.

On May 9, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held a phone conversation with his Canadian counterpart, Chrystia Freeland, asking her to provide grounds for the Iranian nationals residing in the North American country to cast their votes in the presidential polls.

The Canadian minister, however, said that some “technical issues” needed to be discussed and settled given the absence of political relations between Tehran and Ottawa, closure of Iranian diplomatic sites, and Canada’s domestic regulations on polls involving other countries’ citizens.

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Qashqavi, who is also head of the board supervising Iran's presidential election abroad, further stated that necessary measures have been taken to hold and monitor the election.

He added that voting would take place in foreign countries from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and that Iranian ambassadors and representatives are authorized to extend the time if necessary.

Iran will simultaneously hold its 12th presidential election and the 5th City and Village Councils Elections on May 19.

Campaigning began on April 21 for the presidential election and ended on Thursday.

Incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, former deputy judiciary chief, Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi, member of Iran’s Expediency Council Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim, and former vice president, Mostafa Hashemi-Taba, will vie on Friday to win the race.

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