Television cameras zoomed in on his hand Friday as Iran's supreme leader filled out the first ballot in the national election to replace outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei slipped the folded paper into the ballot box and turned to the cameras. His vote officially opened the ballots as he called on the 50 million Iranians eligible to vote to pick one of six candidates in the "epic" election.
"My expectation of our endeared people is for everyone to take part, and I would recommend that they go to ballot boxes as soon as possible and not to delay," he said.
Iranians appeared to heed their leader's call, with voters flocking to the country's 60,000 voting stations. The six candidates also have cast their votes, according to Iran's state-run IRNA news agency.FULL STORY