TEHRAN, May 19 (Xinhua) -- Iran's presidential election began on Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. local time (0330 GMT) as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei cast his vote in the ballot box.

Khamenei urged the Iranians to go to the polling stations for the vote at the earliest time.

The election of the president is important in the Islamic Republic and the people should take note of this point, Khamenei said in a live TV broadcast.