BBC News America news bbc co uk bbc news home bbc news football bbc news vietnam www bbc co uk news bbc news somali bbc news chinese bbc news us and canada news bbc couk bbc news middle east
Voter turnout was slightly more than 25% in Tehran
Iran has seen the lowest turnout in a parliamentary election since the 1979 revolution, with 42.6% of eligible voters casting their ballots.Officials had banned more than 16,000 contenders, many of them reformers. Hardliners are set to win big in the first vote since US sanctions resumed.Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described Friday’s turnout as stunning, as he said Iran’s enemies had tried to put people off voting by exaggerating the coronavirus outbreak.”This negative propaganda about the virus began a couple of months ago and grew larger ahead of the election,” he said, according to his official website Khamenei.ir.”Their media did not miss the tiniest opportunity for dissuading Iranian voters and resorting to the excuse of disease and the virus.”Meanwhile the outbreak has worsened, with 43 confirmed cases and eight deaths. Schools, universities and cultural centres across 14 provinces have been closed. Iraq, Pakistan, and Turkey have closed their borders with Iran, and Afghanistan has suspended air and road travel to and from Iran.What do the results show?Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said the low turnout was “completely acceptable” after Iran experienced a coronavirus outbreak, bad weather and recent protests as well as the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane in January.