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Iranian Voters Face Stark Choice in Runoff Election

 Iranian students hold banners and shout slogans in support of former president and presidential candidate Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani during his address at the Tehran university on June 21.
Iranian students hold banners and shout slogans in support of former president and presidential candidate Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani during his address at the Tehran university on June 21.

Iran holds a runoff presidential election Friday. Voters will choose between Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president who is casting himself as a reformer and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the younger, hard-line mayor of Tehran. Last Friday's first round of voting, with an initial field of seven candidates, was called Iran's closest election in a quarter century.

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Ivan Watson
Ivan Watson is currently based in Istanbul, Turkey. Following the 9-11 terrorist attacks, he has served as one of NPR's foreign "firemen," shuttling to and from hotspots around the Middle East and Central Asia.