In 2016, the turnout was 62 percent, while in 2012, it was 66 percent [Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA/Reuters]

Iran’s interior minister has announced that the voter turnout in the recent parliamentary elections was about 42 percent, the lowest since the 1979 revolution.

It was the first time turnout dipped below the 50 percent mark since the revolution as the country’s top leader said its enemies played up the threat of the new coronavirus to dissuade people from voting.

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“The turnout across the country was 42.57 percent,” Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli told a televised news conference on Sunday. “In [the capital] Tehran, it was around 25 percent. Across Iran, over 24 million people voted.”

Fazli said the election took place under less-than-ideal circumstances, but nevertheless, “we believe that

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