[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/06/10/iran.election.rallies/art.iran.rally.jpg caption="President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attends a rally Wednesday in Tehran. He's facing tight competition from reformist candidate Mir Hossein Moussavi."]
Following weeks of impassioned debates on TV and lively rallies in the streets of Tehran, the Iranian presidential campaign has ended. Iranians are heading to the polls Friday to vote among four contenders. Here's a brief look at the candidates.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Elected in 2005 and internationally known for his defiance of the UN and denial of the Holocaust, Ahmadinejad is the incumbent candidate. In what was earlier thought to be an easy race, he is now fighting to maintain his position in office. Described as a hard-line conservative, throughout his campaign, Ahmadinejad has kept up fierce anti-Western rhetoric and defended Iran's nuclear program. While he maintains a strong base, mostly among traditional conservatives and the poor, the state of Iran's economy threatens Ahmadinejad's re-election.
Mir Hossein Moussavi – A self-described reformist, Moussavi has emerged as Ahmadinejad's main challenger. He is a former Prime Minister, although has not held office for 20 years. Mousavi's support comes primarily from women and young people who hope his reformist approach will bring new religious and democratic freedoms to Iran.
Mohsen Rezaie – Former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Rezaie is currently the secretary of the Expediency Council. A conservative, he draws most of his support from traditionally conservative voters as an alternative to Ahmadinejad and promises economic reform including privatization.
Mehdi Karrubi – Another pro-reform candidate, Karrubi is currently the chairman of the National Trust Party. Like Mousavi, he offers a more moderate approach to foreign policy. This is his second run for the presidency. He came in third in 2005 when Ahmadinejad won the election.
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