Election authorities in Iran have ordered a random partial recount of ballots from Friday's presidential election after allegations of vote-rigging.
This is a second page of your comments.
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:
I'm an Iranian living in the UK. I went and voted on June 17 at the Islamic Center in London, but frankly I'm not sure if it matters. The overall system in Iran reeks of corruption and illegitimacy including the ballot system. Despite the mistrust, I voted with the hope of a better Iran. As for the outcome, perhaps the results explains the missing middle in Iran. Nouveau riche vote for Hashemi, poor suburbans vote Ahmadinejad, and the middle voted themselves out.
Sara, London, UK
Maybe it is hard for some people to understand why Ahmadinejad received so many supports. For me it is very easy to understand. First many poor people voted for him, second, people in the Middle East are dualistic, they say one think but they do another. Many people in religious cities voted for Ahmadinejad. Third thanks to Bush, many people changed themselves at last minute and voted for Ahmadinejad. And fourth, many children to the martyrs from the war for the first time voted this year, and they voted for Ahmadinejad and nobody did calculate this. For the second round, I think if over 50% of the people vote, then Rafsanjani will win, other ways Ahmadinejad can very simply get thousands of votes and become the next president. Then it is better to go and vote.
Malek Irani, Stockholm, Sweden
I voted for Moin. At first, before the campaign I decided not to vote, because I couldn't find the right candidate for me. But then I became afraid for the future of my country and this fear most of the youth share with me. They do not want hardliners, they want someone like Khatami. They want reform and democracy but they know can't be reached in a short time, so we must choose someone like Moin.
I think what Khatami did means that now everyone can speak freely about what they want. I hope under the next president this will be extended. I hope that they will do whatever they promised in the campaign - more democracy, more freedom. We are not expecting a "colour" revolution as in other nations, we don't believe in that.
Armen, Tehran, Iran
I am not shocked at the results, all my friends and members of my family voted for Ahmadinejad.
But I have voted for Rafsanjani despite the pressure of others.
Morteza Zanganeh, Tehran, Iran
All elections are a joke, I have not voted the first round and won't vote the second time , the president is already chosen from long time ago!
J.T, Tehran, Iran
I wonder who on earth give non-Iranians the God-given right to condemn the voting before the election is even over. Let the Iranians decides who they want to choose next. Blair and Bush went to war based on lies and they got re-elected. This is what i call a sham!
Faizal Bahari, Singapore
Why is the western media making this sound like it's something important? It doesn't matter who wins this election - it's the mullahs who run the country. I think the media is doing an injustice to the people of Iran by making this election something it isn't.
Why not report the truth and say these elections are a sham. Look at the posts from the people from Iran here - they are discreetly begging us to report the truth - that these elections mean nothing. Let's help the people of Iran and report the tyranny of its leaders and the anger of the people.
Mike Daly, Miami, FL, USA
It's sad to see that US president Bush is condemning the Iranian elections before they've even taken place. Leave Iranians to make up their own minds, Bush.
Matty L, Iowa, USA
As a Persian who has lived most his life outside Iran, I think that whole election is a big joke. Nothing will change unless people inside the country decide to take Iran back by any means necessary.
Shahrokh Yazdi, Toronto, Canada
As an Iranian living in the UK, I would definitely go out and vote for the next president of Iran. I go back to Iran every summer and I see the changes for the better all the time. We must accept the fact that Iran is the biggest democracy in the Middle East and the great majority of us Iranians know it. I do not say everything in Iran is perfect but things are improving.
From BBCPersian.com: The polling stations are quite busy. Nearly all who have in the past three days have changed their mind will vote for Mr Moin today. The number of young people voting for the first time has been quite substantial. Although many of them probably have voted under pressure from their parents and in order to get their documents stamped for future purposes. If we are to experience anything like previous elections most will cast their votes in the last hours of the day. Nevertheless the turn out has been higher than expected.
Tohid, Rasht, Iran
From BBCPersian.com: My family and I will not vote. The 27 years of post-revolution has gained us nothing but high prices and pressure. For what should we vote? To continue this situation?
Omid, Yazd, Iran
From BBCPersian.com: I will surely vote on Friday despite the gruesome task of driving through the heavy Los Angeles traffic. This is the first time me and my family will vote in Iran's election.
Afsaneh, Los Angeles, CA, US
From BBCPersian.com: The government is trying to persuade us that by not participating we are being passive. But boycotting the election is actually a form of fighting. Tyranny has made it impossible for the people to choose their governance. If we take part in the elections we are belittling the people's will.
Amir, Tehran, Iran
From BBCPersian.com: I will not vote. It is obvious why. Because I happen to be a woman in Iran. My life decisions are made for me. I have no rights in marriage or otherwise. I don't have any rights over my children. I always have to get permission from the male in my family. My inheritance is half that of a man's. If I die my family can claim only half of a man's worth in compensation. So if I am half a person in every way why should my vote count for one?
Parvaneh, Tehran, Iran
I don't believe in voting because the major power lies in the hand of the Supreme Leader, no matter who will be the president. So we must seek changes in the law which prohibits many primary laws. With the current laws, we can't expect real democracy and liberty.
Mohammad Reza, Tehran, Iran
As an Iranian temporarily living in Saudi Arabia, I voted at the Iranian embassy. I had no plans to vote until last night as our system seems non-reformable. Today I felt that I must exercise the little political choice I have. I voted for Qalibaf. Despite being a conservative, I have seen his effective management style as the chief of the police force.
Bahman, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
I voted this morning and I observed so many people with their IDs in their hands on their way to vote.
Since Iran is our country, it's ours to decide whether to vote or not and whom to elect. I really get offended when I see the US government telling us what to do. Don't they really think we Iranians are wise enough to decide for ourselves?
An Iranian youth, Iran
The majority of Iranian people want deep reforms and are dissatisfied with the governing regime. People want a regime change, but the present conditions seem very difficult. The best choice could have been to boycott the elections, but as there is no unanimity among the entire nation, we decided to vote for Moin in order to prevent the conservatives gaining more absolute power. I took part the elections, but I want the world to note that taking part in the elections does not necessarily mean agreeing with the Islamic Republic. We want true democracy and we need it more than our daily bread.
Alireza Abiz, Tehran, Iran
I find it shocking that George W Bush can criticise Iran's blossoming democracy when he was put into power by a dubious election himself. Iran has come a long, long way and offers a glimpse of what could be for other Islamic countries. It has its problems, namely with human rights, but it is not the demon that so-called Western powers make it out to be. At least women can vote in Iran, unlike the West's best friend, Saudi Arabia. I don't know who the next president will be, but I do hope development and change continues for the people of Iran.
Jennifer Hynes, Plymouth, UK
I encourage every decent Iranian who loves his motherland and his comrades to go out and vote. We are the masters of our own destiny and we must show the world and specially the enemies of Islam and Iran that we can do things our own way and we don't have to prostitute ourselves to the West to be democratic and fair. Change and better living conditions will eventually come our way. It would be nice to maintain our dignity and values while changing.
Comrade Safaryan, Canada
To vote is to enjoy the legitimate right every common citizen in Western society enjoys , why wouldn't Iranians want to enjoy their legitimate right to vote?
Abdulhamid Afsari, Tehran, Iran
Who will be Iran's next president does not really matter; what matters is that there is some sort of democracy going on in Iran. As for the political reform, I personally believe that very little progress will be made so long as the Supreme Leader has the final word in a good many situations.
Mansour Seraj, Amran, Yemen
The whole election in Iran is a complete and utter sham. Unless the people rise up and remove the corrupt mullahs from power nothing will ever change in Iran.
Davar, New York, U.S.A
Iran should be left alone to freely choose who they want to be their president, that is the only way we can guarantee democracy and freedom.
Abubakar Yusufu, Kano, Nigeria
As a dual citizen, I would also like to voice my deep belief in that evolution is the way forward and this is achieved through voting. Democracy is an idealistic concept which no nation can claim to have exercised in its entirety. Yet Iran is gradually approaching democracy. The country has changed positively in the last eight years. Just look at the number of reputable candidates and compare with the West.
Ali M., Cambridge, UK
Iran is a religious dictatorship. These sham elections are fooling no one. In Iran there exists little or no respect for human rights. The unelected guardian council disqualifies every candidate who is seen as a non Islamist, they veto political decisions made by parliament aimed at paving the way for democratic reform. There is no freedom of speech and women are not allowed to run for the presidency. The result is 2,500 disqualified candidates in the parliamentary elections and 1,000 disqualified candidates in the presidential elections.
Amir, Gothenburg, Sweden
I think many of the posted comments are missing the point. Whether or not the elections in Iran are 'free' is irrelevant. The fact is that the President has no power - all decision-making rests with unelected religious leaders. Thus to compare the Iranian elections to those in the US or elsewhere in the 'Western' world is ridiculous - in those countries you vote for the ultimate decision-maker, no matter how flawed the process may be. In Iran you are voting for a puppet.
Kaveh, London, UK
The best thing happened to the Iranian people was the Islamic Revolution of 1979. They now fully understand the need for a separation between religion and state. They now understand that the future of Iran is not in the hand of some unelected mullahs but instead in the hands of the Iranians themselves. That's why I'm really disappointed and do not understand why some Iranians will vote in this election. Everybody knows that a president in Iran has no power at all and that Khamenei runs the game. So why the vote?
Amir Hedayat, Antwerp, Belgium
From BBCPersian.com: It is not true that our votes will enhance the regime's legitimacy. Election is our only hope.
Amir, Tehran, Iran
From BBCPersian.com: I believe we are going to have the smallest turnout ever in this round of the election. People have lost their hope for changing the situation. At our university, we believe we'd better not vote.
Ahmad, Bandar-I Mahshahr, Iran
From BBCPersian.com: All the promises made by the candidates will be forgotten immediately after the election. Many of the candidates are unable to stand by their promises and some even do not believe in their own slogans.
Ali, Mashhad, Iran
From BBCPersian.com: I am not going to vote because all the candidates are the regime's managers. They are always there, as though there are no other capable individuals in Iran.
Alireza, Dezful, Iran
From BBCPersian.com: Reluctance to vote is not acceptable even if we do not like any one of the candidates.
Massih, Tehran, Iran
Rafsanjani will win, after a bit of drama. How can this be called an election when the candidates are hand-picked? This simply is a show mostly designed for the international community in order for the Islamic Republic to claim some kind of legitimacy. People should not buy into this farce. No amount of voting will change anything unless it is a referendum to decide whether people of Iran really want an Islamic dictatorship.
Cyrus G, Europe
The Islamic regime had reached a deadlock after Rafsanjani era, and for passing over it they let Khatami enter the election, who won with huge support. Now, after 8 years of suppressing Khatami's efforts for reconstruction, their situation is better, but the only possible way for their survival is to give more freedom to the people, and no matter who wins the election the process started by Khatami will go ahead but possibly with other slogans. I have not yet made my mind up about taking part in election because it makes no difference.
Mehdi, Mashhad, Iran
This "selection" process is a farce and a mockery. It makes no difference who is chosen as the next president since even in the unlikely event that he wanted to do something to advance people's aspirations, he cannot with the supreme leader having all the power. I think (and hope) that most Iranians boycott this so-called election. It might be a good thing that a so-called conservative is chosen and then the true face of this regime also represents it.
The outcome of the elections will be a president who is the democratic window dressing in a theocracy. As long as oil prices remain high, the mullahs still have some power to do the carrot-on-a-stick thing to keep people distracted, but I think the clock is starting to tick louder and louder.
Robert Arisz, Amsterdam
There is no voter apathy. Voting in Iran is a sham since the so-called cleric Khamenei has the final say and ultimate power regardless of who is elected. Therefore the elections are held only to show the world that they are "democratic". Iranian people are boycotting the "free, and democratic" election and they are willing to take a risk towards the unknown. Furthermore their distrust for the totalitarian abuse of power to sell and embezzle the countries' funds and Iran's natural resources for personal profit .
I would firstly like to say that Iran is not a proper democracy, but it is a better "democracy" than most of the region. Iran is continuously changing, I think you can look at the way women dress now and compare it to 10 years ago to see the changes. What our country need is a gradual change to proper democracy, even though the pace is slow, it is happening. Voting is important because Iran has lots of enemies in US and Europe who want to keep it down, and voting is our way of fighting back. Also the main domestic issue is unemployment and the economy; people can do something about them by voting. Personally I am not sure who to vote for yet, Moin who is an academic, reformer, nice guy and non-turban wearing, or Rafsanjani who is a mullah, but he can get things done.
Siavash, London, UK
Iran has been democratic since the Islamic Revolution. I am sick and tired of the Western press trying find faults in Iranian elections so that America's unjust rhetoric can be justified. The influence of ayatollahs in Iran is negligible compared to the influence of the Christian right in USA elections. Western media should be more balanced.
Naveed Khan, San Jose, USA
No freedom loving Iranian who cares about his country and its people will vote in these elections. The only people who are taking part in these so called elections are the Islamic Republic's paid cronies.
D Cooper, Middlesex, UK
Iran is moving towards to become a full democracy but it will take time, already Iran has gone through lots of changes since the revolution. In the early days the government would do everything by force but now it seeks more approval from the people and has more backing of the people. The goal of the government was after the revolution to become a full Islamic state but now it aims more to become a democratic government and the economic power in the region. The needs of the people are becoming harder and harder to ignore.
Reza Shokouhi, Long Beach, California, USA
I think people who can notice the difference between the government today and the government 20 years ago should go to the polls to support the evolution of the system in Iran.
Kaveh, Tehran, Iran
As an Iranian I believe that people of Iran must vote on Friday to show that they still believe in the principles of Islamic Republic. The problems we have in Iran now are not because of practicing Islam, they are the result of not practicing Islam properly.
Ali, Newcastle, UK
How can this be called an election, and how can Iranians be assured of a just and honest system, when at the end of the day all can be changed by a single proclamation from Khamenei? Iran needs change and it needs a completely coherent and solid basis from which to work and go forward in a positive and industrious manner. Otherwise everything that we will witness in the next few days will be nothing more than a facade of chicanery by the powers that be. Democracy? Don't make me laugh.
Ramin, Tokyo, Japan
I was 30 years old with two kids when the revolution occurred. I intend to vote because the people in Iran don't want another revolution and we don't need to give foreign powers the right to attack us in the name of democracy. Voting in this election will give us hope that one day we will earn the rights to exist as an independent, free nation.
Shirin Sohrabi, Yazd, Iran
Iran is my country and voting is all I have within my means to make a change and I will use it. Reforming the system, little by little each year is fine by me. In the end, people wishes will come true. Let the Americans have the next revolution if they so wish. We have had enough blood already.
Vafa, Kerman, Iran
Iran is a more free and open society than the many people believe. Women for example have more freedom than in Saudi Arabia but since the Shah left Iran has been falling apart. A rich, prosperous nation in the 1970s, living standards have fallen to a large degree. It probably does not matter who wins the elections as the Supreme Leader will have the final say on affairs in Iran. The economy will never improve until the flight capital that left the country in the last days of the Shah returns. Iranian exiles are holding $300 billion of wealth outside Iran and this money will never come home until exiled royal family and their allies give the nod.
James Varela, Sarasota, FL, US
I dedicated my final year at university to studying Iran's current political climate, and I have to say that I admire the enthusiasm and drive of the younger Iranians in trying to achieve a truly democratic government. It is through patience, consistent effort, and enduring faith in their cause that they will finally achieve what is rightfully theirs. It is their right and duty to support the change that they wish to see in their country. I wish Iran the best of luck with its coming election. As a young American, I can fully well say that many of our youth can sympathise with the young population in Iran - we want to save our country from our fanatical government too!
Ambika, New York, NYC, US
I am proud of all Iranians who have taken the opportunity to voice their opinions in the campaign process. It is easy for Iranian-Americans to criticise various aspects of the current Iranian elections without recognizing the great accomplishments that have already been realised by the Iranian people. Having visited Iran last year, I witnessed my cousins, who are in their early 20s like me and saw how far Iranian society has come since the 1980s when I first visited Iran. I praise all Iranians who are active in the election process. Americans need to turn a critical eye to their own election process before bad-mouthing others' elections.
Jubin, Portland, OR, US
Voting is a means to participative rule. In the "Islamic" republic there is no concept of participation, democracy or freedom - so why vote? To merely vote between a "reformist" fascist and a "hardline" fascist still equates to voting and supporting a fascist state. This regime, in the eyes of its leaders, is like an elastic band - it stretches and contracts to meet the demand of the day and the pressures put on it by the people. Instead the analogy of this government should be one of a plank of hardwood - it needs to be snapped in half and a new society created. Will I vote? Not a chance!
Jafar, Tehran, Iran
I find it quite interesting that many ordinary Westerners think their candidates are totally "elected" by majority; while it is in Iran that they are filtered! This is simply not true, in the US and UK, there are parties that filter the candidates. Few hundred party reps decide and people will vote only on the chosen ones. Never, ever, will anyone outside the party win, because of elements of power, money, and propaganda. While in Iran eight candidates have relatively equal chance, in US, only the 2 party-filtered candidates have the chance!
Mirali Sharifi, Tehran, Iran
To describe the system in Iran as un-democratic is simply untrue. Just compare it to its neighbours in the Gulf. However, to describe it as fully democratic is just as erroneous. The system in Iran is definitely not perfect and the conservatives try to hold on to as much control as possible. The answer is not to dismiss the entire system though, but rather to make the pendulum swing the other way a little.
Riyadh, Dubai, UAE
Most of us share the goal of democratization and freedom, we are just not united in solutions towards that!
Mostafa, Tehran, Iran
I will vote for sure, because i believe in gradual changes and i think changes will occur little by little. I thinks it's a must to vote, I don't want to see my country having the same fate as Iraq. My vote will go for Mr Moin, since he is an academic and an open-minded man.
As a young Iranian woman belonging to the post-revolution generation, I believe reform can only take place gradually. Just as we Persians defeated the Ottomans, Moguls, Arabs and other invaders of our country and transformed them into genuine Persians, we will do likewise with the mullahs. I will vote because I want the generations after me to live in peace and harmony and be proud of their independence, because we deserve it.
Punteha, Isfahan, Iran
I am a firm believer that the pen is mightier than the sword and believe democracy can only be established over time and through peaceful means. Not voting will only strengthen the enemies of democracy and serve the conservatives in Iran and the opposition abroad whose only agenda is to disillusion people of reforms.
Peyman, London, UK
The system which is running in Iran is very disappointing and doesn't seem to have a good prospective with this sort of elections. After revolution in 1979, the people of Iran experienced many undesirable conditions and everything was in contradiction with the vows and commitments of rule makers. Why should they be so optimistic in this phase? Has anything been changed? The time for a big public decision to go for reforms has not yet been reached among the majority of people, but we are getting closer and closer. I think voting or not voting has no effect on the overall ending of the story.
Siamak, Montreal, Canada
I am a firm believer that the pen is mightier than the sword and believe democracy can only be established over time and through peaceful means. Not voting will only strengthen the enemies of democracy and serve the conservatives in Iran and the opposition abroad whose only agenda is to disillusion people from reforms.
Peyman, London, UK
As an unemployed university graduate in Shiraz, of course I will vote, but that is not to be construed as an endorsement of our current leadership. Everyone knows Iran is in need of major reforms in all aspects of economy, political and social fronts. Our current political system is unfit to take us forward to the future we want, reduce poverty and eliminate unemployment. But change needs to originate from inside and by Iranians and be gradual. Voter choices in this elections are far from ideal but by taking part in it, we can ensure we can change our systems from inside and take an active role in reforming it. By refusing to vote, we just provide excuses for foreign powers to impose their will upon ours, create misery for us like they did in Iraq and take our resources with them.
Behzad Arsalan, Shiraz, Iran
I will be in Iran on Friday and will vote. Iran is more free than most people read about it in the Western media. All my family members will vote also. We have issues in Iran and we the Iranians will solve them. We don't need America to help us. America should fix its own voting system first.
JF, California, USA
I believe that our country has changed a lot since president Khatami and we need to continue to support the reformists. I am going to vote if I find any polling station in here. Iranians should know that we must create our democracy. No-one else can do it.
Alek, Los Angeles, CA, US
At least people in Iran have an opportunity to cast a ballot even if they feel they don't have a perfect choice. The fact that another election is taking place in the Middle East is momentous, even if the United States might not like the outcome.
Alan, Chicago, IL, US
The only way we can progress is through civil participation and voting. A small example of people power was shown in women getting into football stadiums. The opposition groups outside Iran opposing voting are simply obsolete dinosaurs, waiting for anything to bring them back to power.
Mirali Sharifi, Tehran, Iran
I believe we should vote for moving towards democracy under a moderate president, even though he might not be the ideal candidate.
Babak, Seattle, USA
I have been to Iran couple of times and am hoping to visit again sometime soon. I hope that the future government will focus on tackling the real domestic issues such as unemployment, health and education which provides the key element of confidence in any modern society. In addition, I also hope that the newly formed government will find common ground to restore good relationships with Western nations.
Abdul Ludhi, England, UK
After carefully thinking about the current situation in Iran and matters surrounding it, not voting in this election would only result in disaster. I am not comfortable with the situation but I don't see how I could help the situation by not participating. The problem with Iranians is that they complain first and then think about it. If we don't participate, whomever comes into power - whether conservative or liberal- will have a very weak government which would only expose Iran to more demands by Europe and the US.
Hamed, San Diego, California, US
If all the reformists, rather than boycotting the vote, joined together and voted for a single reformist candidate, the election would fall in their favour. Part of the problem is the splits in the reformist camp and the large number of (attempted) reformist candidates splitting the vote.
Nathan Hobbs, Luton, UK
Iranians will vote by not voting. The lower the turnout the more the Mullahs will become aware that they are not legitimate rulers of the country and the sooner the people of Iran can find a real democracy.
Babak, Sydney, Australia
If I was still in Iran, I would vote for the reformist candidate. We should put aside our idealistic tendencies and accept reform as a slow yet sure way of achieving full democracy and equal rights. I also agree with the comments warning about outside interference and the possibility of war. Iranians should be wary of the G8 and its Faustian economics. Aggressive policies that stem from this formless and volatile capitalism are a threat not only to Iran, but to all of humanity.
Ali, Toronto, Canada
Iran is a theocratic dictatorship where no amount of voting or elections will provide even an illusion of democracy. Iran's confrontation with the US over its development of nuclear weapons and sponsorship of terrorists will keep it perpetually out of the mainstream of the world's economy which is to say perpetually impoverished and a pariah.
Iran's experiment with democracy is well on its way to becoming a more mature system. In the process there are going to be imperfections, but the people have become demanding of the government and the government has no choice but to respond to their needs, be it political, economic or social. Iranians will vote out the negatives of the system and yet again set a good example of how democracy is established.
Sultan Mehrabi, Raleigh, USA
What does it matter who is the next President of Iran. It is not like he has any real power. How about a new Supreme leader?
Dave P, Chicago, USA
Khatami has failed to deliver but bear in mind, one of the main reasons for this is because almost every move he tried to make was blocked by the conservative and religious Guardian Council, who believe any kind of social and political reform is a threat to the revolution. With this in mind, you can understand why an average Iranian would probably think twice before casting their vote. Whoever they vote in as president will have little power unless he's working hand in hand with the council.
Nikos, Athens, Greece
There will be a widespread boycott of this so-called election. The people of Iran will and should say no to this Islamic dictatorship by staying away from polls. This is not an election by definition, but a selection by top unelected mullahs.
Asal Irani, US
From BBCPersian.com: We have to move towards a democratic society stage by stage. This will not happen if we take an unfriendly stance and sit by and watch the elections come and go. Those who oppose voting probably have forgotten pre-Khatami's era, when we could not protest or complain. The ladies who take to the streets to voice their anger against exclusion of women for the presidential candidacy should take more note of this.
Pardis, Tehran, Iran
From BBCPersian.com: Me and my university colleagues will not participate in the elections because of Guardian Council's meddling in political affairs and also because whomever takes the position of the presidency would not have any power whatsoever.
Fereydoon, Yassouj, Iran
From BBCPersian.com: I would love to take part in the elections but we do not have access to any polling station here. But I can say one thing and that is that Iran's election is freer than in the US.
Sajjad, Arizona, US
From BBCPersian.com: It is unfortunate that our people act on emotions and not reason. Just as they didn't know why they toppled the Shah they don't know why they hate the mullahs so much. A little while ago many were adamant not to take part in the elections but as we get closer to the day they are beginning to have their doubts. Now each comes up with an excuse. I will not vote, because I don't believe in religious jurisprudence. But I warn all those who have changed heart that later they have only themselves to blame.
Rezaee, Larestan, Iran
From BBCPersian.com: I will definitely vote, so will a lot of people. I will vote not because I want to back the regime and its bad deeds but to protect my country from the jaws of America and Europe. They are to be blamed for all our misfortunes throughout our history.
Naveed, Qazvin, Iran
In Iran nearly eight candidates are standing with different ideas, this in itself is the best democratic example. Those who are not voting are scared of the fact that Iran is democratic despite the West and the US claiming otherwise and good turnout will dishearten both.
As an Iranian living in the UK I believe the real struggle taking shape in Iran today is the forces of state despotism against an emerging popular movement that demands democracy, rejects militant fundamentalism, and repudiates 'supreme rule' allegedly by 'divine right'. The current regime is losing confidence in itself. Even Rafsanjani is aware of widespread dissatisfaction and doesn't want to push for a replay of 1979. Many in the regime realise mass coercion against the people is no longer a good option. The political system has lost credibility and legitimacy. The ruling clerics are well aware of the crisis and the limitations of their power. Rafsanjani will no doubt win the election but will struggle to improve the system and will change things cosmetically. But any system with the clerics has proven to be unsalvageable and inherently irreformable. So the bottom line, is why vote?
I am not going to participate in this election, as there is no candidate that I could support. I think if a large proportion of the population stays away from the polling stations, it would send a message to the small number of people who control the state in Iran that the people want a freer election where candidates of other political colours can participate.
Mehrdad Ghazvini, Colchester, UK
I live in Iran and I will not be voting in the election this coming Friday. The main issue in this election is helping to stop inflation and establish some reforms. The problem is during the election and campaigning process, the government tends to loosen their grip on men and women (as far as mingling in public, and enforcing head scarves), but this tends to finish right after the next president has been elected. To be honest, I have been told to avoid the elections and going out in public places in general, as there are people out there who are trying to intimidate "reformist voters" throughout Iran.
Hassan Amidhozour, Tehran, Iran
Everyone should vote, as voting in the up-coming elections is like slapping the US and its allies in their faces. If the turnout is high, the US will not be able to make any adverse comments about Iran.
Despite many groups encouraging voter apathy, I firmly believe that it is time we Iranians use our voting power in the way it is intended and participate in the elections. Having reviewed all the candidates, it is obvious that there are obvious differences in the candidates views about the future of our country. Voter apathy means a green light for outside intervention. Just look at Iraq and its dire consequences. Nobody wants the same predicament over here with the exception of those who have already sold their souls to foreigners.
Arash, Tehran, Iran
I am living in Iran. I want a president who stands up to US aggression and protects the interests of Muslims. Iran needs a strong president to counter hostility from Israel and the US.
Nejad, Tehran, Iran
As the husband of an Iranian who fled Iran with her family after the fall of the Shah, I can say with some certainty that most Iranians (inside and outside of Iran) believe that as long as the top clerics determine who can and who can not run for elections then no election will be truly legitimate and the results of any election will not change anything significantly. I expect apathy to continue and turnout to be light, especially in the big cities like Tehran. I also, however, expect major changes to take place in Iran within the next generation. Iranians by nature are not comfortable being told what to do and think all the time and how to live their lives. There will be a backlash if this continues, that's for certain.
John, NJ, USA
Without any doubt it will be Rafsanjani. The Iranians are demoralised with President Khatami, who failed to introduce reforms as promised. Rafsanjani is just considered a rubber stamp presidential candidate by the ayatollahs to serve their every whims. I can say that most of the Iranian people are going to boycott the vote. Even with the reformers participating, Rafsanjani will still win no matter what.
Yes, I will vote, the last parliament election we didn't vote and as a result the non-reformists won. Now everybody knows that 'no' to voting will practically be 'yes' to the conservatives.
Lotfi, Masjed Soleiman, Iran
It should be a freely elected president of the people, without influence by the ayatollahs. But it is up to the Iranians to choose liberty or oppression.
I don't live in Iran but I grew up there and moved to the US during the Iran/Iraq war. The main issues of the election are the wide gap between the rich and poor and the high unemployment rate. I think that, unfortunately, the struggle between reformers and conservatives will continue and will get even worse. If I lived there, I would not be voting. The results will not be legitimate, and of course, no matter who the president is, the ayatollah will still have the final say in everything.
Akbar, Philadelphia, PA, US
The "elected" president will be chosen by religious leaders.
Rob G, Kansas City, USA