'I am here, voting for the sake of my sons'

"I am so excited," said Arghavan, a young female voter standing in a line stretching around the block at the Hosseinieh Ershad mosque in north Tehran. "Nobody could have imagined how close, how important, how exciting these elections would be."

"I am not excited," a middle-aged actress standing next to her said. "I have experience from Khatami's time. It was just like this."

The atmosphere in the women's line was boisterous, with people diving in and out of each other's conversations.

"Mousavi is good for both men and women," said Mansoureh, a chador-wearing law student queuing up to vote. "He clarifies the equality of women and men under Islam." Mona, a PhD candidate voting in the affluent Jamaran district thought Mousavi had yet to prove his credentials on that score. "I believe he is a good man, but he is somehow conservative... what is important is that [his wife] wants to be open-minded."

Divisions between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi supporters have been portrayed as class-based, and to some extent this was reflected at the polling stations. Outside the Hosseinieh Ershad mosque there was much talk of how a Mousavi presidency might free people to do more international travel, while in poorer south Tehran the focus was on Ahmadinejad's wealth redistribution policies.

Wearing a gold and black Louis Vuitton headscarf, Elaheh emerged after voting for Ahmadinejad. "He is tangible, he is recognisable, he is reachable, his entourage doesn't make a problem," she explained. Her sister, Zohre, was scornful of Mousavi. "Those are just slogans. His wife is conservative. Ahmadinjad is the person who is going to make real transformation."

In south Tehran, Massoumeh, 47, explained why she voted for Mousavi. "I am voting for the sake of my sons. They are unemployed. I am hopeful they will get a job under Mousavi. Voting is not to do with richness or poorness."

While in south-central Tehran, Fatimeh explained why she was not voting for Ahmadinejad again. "He legalised polygamy."

Later, outside the Hosseinieh Ershad mosque, a woman named Saeedeh interrupted a discussion on the women's role in elections. "Our problem is not the veil," she said, adjusting her own expensive-looking headscarf. "There is no difference between men and women.

"It's just politics."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee