Two women in attendance said they respected Mr. Raisi’s qualifications as a judiciary head who had battled corruption in the past. But more than that, they said showing up was a patriotic duty.
“I want to show my support to the revolution,” said Zahra Shahrjerdi, 61, a retired teacher.
“There are problems in the Islamic Republic, but we believe the system is good,” said her daughter, Fatemeh Ghanaati, 35, a primary schoolteacher.
Others, however, had long since reached the opposite conclusion, that the problem was the Islamic Republic. Presidents might come and go, but the real power remained concentrated in the hands of the supreme leader and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, who some presidential candidates in this election have referred to as the “shadow government.”
“I voted for four different individuals in the past, and they couldn’t do the job,” said Zohre Afrouz, 58, a seamstress who said she could barely afford rent and had given up on ever buying a car despite 12-hour workdays.
She regretted her vote because no matter who the president, “all of them are confined to a framework, and the policies are dictated to them,” she said. “My vote has no value.”
Amir, 30, a jewelry salesman at the Grand Bazaar, was blunter.
“Our country, it should be demolished and rebuilt,” he said. “It’s no use.”
Vivian Yee reported from Tehran, and Farnaz Fassihi from New York.