Iran's moderate presidential candidate congratulated his hardline rival Ebrahim Raisi for winning the election on Saturday, as the interior ministry said counting of the votes continued, APA reports citing Reuters.
Millions of Iranians voted on Friday in a contest that has been expected to hand the presidency to Raisi, a 60-year-old senior judge who is subject to U.S. sanctions for alleged human rights abuses.
"I hope your administration, under the leadership of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will make the Islamic Republic proud, improve livelihood and ensure the nation's well-being and welfare," media quoted former central bank chief Abdolnasser Hemmati as saying in a letter.
In a televised speech, outgoing President Hassan Rouhani congratulated "the people's elected (president)", without naming him.
"Because it has not been officially announced yet, I will delay the official congratulations. But it is clear who received the votes," Rouhani said.
Other candidates also congratulated Raisi.
The interior ministry was to announce the final results later on Saturday as the counting of the votes continued, state TV said.