Dutch-Iranians queue to vote in first Iranian election since nuclear deal

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On Friday Iranians are voting in the first election since the country agreed to limit its nuclear program. In the Netherlands Dutch-Iranians can vote at the Iranian embassy in The Hague.

The two presidential candidates in this election are currently ruling moderate president Hassan Rouhani and lesser known candidate Ebrahim Raisi. According to ABC news Rouhani faced staunch challenge from Raisi over his outreach to the West in the nuclear deal.

Raisi is a former prosecutor who is considered by political commentators as a possible successor to highest leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has more authority than the president, according to ANP. During his campaign Raisi focused mainly on economical issues, such as the recession and high unemployment in the country. 

Voters told NL Times that there were between 100 and 200 people standing in line to vote shortly after the Iranian Embassy in The Hague opened its doors at 8:00 a.m. Several said they were voting for Rouhani, praising his work on the nuclear energy deal and for earning the country more international respect.

"Rouhani also has a great team of technocrats, like Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri," said one voter who identified himself as "Sam." Eshaq Jahangiri, a candidate in the election until a few days ago, pulled out and asked his backers to support Rouhani. "Both might be reformist candidates for the next presidency," Sam added.

Sam also expressed concerns about Raisi, calling him a "hard-liner" and a conservative populist. 

The embassy in The Hague is the only place in the Netherlands where Iranians can vote in this election. Polls close at 6:00 p.m. The results are expected 24 hours after the polls close. The candidates need more than 50 percent of the votes to be elected president. If neither candidate is the clear winner, a second round of voting will be held next week.