The appeal by former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani came in response to persistent calls by many among reform-minded voters to stay away from Friday's election, despite the apparent rising profile of moderate candidate Hasan Rowhani, a former nuclear negotiator.
The boycott drive seeks to mount a symbolic rebuke to Iran's ruling system after years of arrests and pressures against opposition forces since the disputed re-election in 2009 of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran's constitution bars Ahmadinejad from running for a third consecutive term, though he could run in the future.
But a significant snub of the voting would most likely hurt Rowhani, who has been backed by his close ally Rafsanjani and other reformist leaders. His other rivals include hardliners or conservatives seen as favored by the ruling theocracy.
Rafsanjani's stature rose sharply with liberals after he criticized hard-line tactics used in the unprecedented postelection clashes and demonstrations four years ago. Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, who challenged Ahmadinejad in the 2009 election, and another reform-leaning candidate, Mahdi Karroubi, have been under house arrest for more than two years.
Reports Thursday by several pro-reform newspapers, including the Etemad daily, quoted Rafsanjani as saying that people "should not boycott" the vote.
"I urge them to vote," he was quoted as saying.
On Wednesday, thousands of supporters welcomed Rowhani in the northeastern city of Mashhad chanting: "Long live reforms."
They also urged for a strong turnout under the phrase of "one for 100" — meaning every reformist should try to encourage 100 people to the polls.
Iranians traditionally have shown high interest in voting. The average reported turnout in the past 10 presidential election is more than 67 percent.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has repeatedly called for a high turnout as a reply to Western governments that have strongly questioned the openness of Iran's elections — including the process of vetting candidates, which dropped Rafsanjani and other perceived moderates.
But Khamenei went further in his appeal on Wednesday, when he equated voting to a patriotic act for voters, even if they don't want to support the Islamic establishment.
"It is possible that some do not want to support the Islamic Republic while seeking to support their own country. They should vote, too," said Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters. He added that a high turnout would "frustrate the enemy."
"When the enemy faces frustration, it will lose its efficiency," he said.
Sarah Murnaghan underwent a six-hour surgery Wednesday at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, a procedure her aunt said resulted because of the larger list of available organs.
"It was a direct result of the ruling that allowed her to be put on the adult list," Sharon Ruddock said after her niece's surgery was completed successfully. "It was not pediatric lungs. She would have never gotten these lungs otherwise."
She said the donor lungs came through "normal channels" and not through the public appeals the family made in its bid to find a compatible donor. No other details about the donor lungs are known.
The Murnaghan family's quest to qualify their daughter for an organ transplant spurred public debate over how donor organs are allocated.
Her family and the family of another cystic fibrosis patient at the same hospital challenged existing transplant policy that made children under 12 wait for pediatric lungs to become available, or be offered lungs donated by adults only after adolescents and adults on the waiting list had been considered. They said pediatric lungs are rarely donated.
Sarah's health was fading when U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson in Philadelphia ruled June 5 that Sarah and 11-year-old Javier Acosta of New York City should be eligible for adult lungs.
Critics warned there could be a downside to having judges intervene in the organ transplant system's allocation policy. Lung transplants are difficult procedures and some say child patients tend to have more trouble with them than adults.
During double lung transplants, surgeons must open up the patient's chest. Complications can include rejection of the new lung and infection.
"Her doctors are very pleased with both her progress during the procedure and her prognosis for recovery," the family said in a statement. "The surgeons had no challenges resizing and transplanting the donor lungs - the surgery went smoothly, and Sarah did extremely well. She is in the process of getting settled in the ICU and now her recovery begins. We expect it will be a long road, but we're not going for easy, we're going for possible."
Ruddock said the family was optimistic about Sarah's recovery.
"If everything goes perfectly, she could be out in a couple of weeks, running down the hall," Ruddock said. "It could take a couple of months, it could take three weeks."
The Murnaghan family noted that Sarah's successful surgery was the result of another family's loss:
"We are elated this day has come, but we also know our good news is another family's tragedy. That family made the decision to give Sarah the gift of life - and they are the true heroes today."
On Wednesday, in a posting on her Facebook page, Janet Murnaghan said she and the family were "overwhelmed with emotions" and thanked all her supporters. She said the donor's family "has experienced a tremendous loss, may God grant them a peace that surpasses understanding."
Ruddock said Sarah doesn't yet know the full extent of the impact her case has had.
"She really wanted to Google herself the other day and we were like, no."
The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network - the national organization that manages organ transplants - added Sarah to the adult waiting list after Baylson's ruling. Her transplant came just two days before a hearing was scheduled on the family's request for a broader injunction.
The network has said 31 children under age 11 are on the waiting list for a lung transplant. Its executive committee held an emergency meeting this week but resisted making emergency rule changes for children under 12 who are waiting for lungs, instead creating a special appeal and review system to hear such cases.
Murnaghan's family "did have a legitimate complaint" about the rule that limited her access to adult lungs, said medical ethicist Arthur Caplan of the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York.
"When the transplant community met, they didn't want to change that rule without really thinking carefully about it," he said. The appeals process that was established this week was "built on evidence, not on influence."
He added: "In general, the road to a transplant is still to let the system decide who will do best with scarce, lifesaving organs. And it's important that people understand that money, visibility, being photogenic ... are factors that have to be kept to a minimum if we're going to get the best use out of the scarce supply of donated cadaver organs."
Ritter, an AP science writer, reported from New York. Associated Press Writer Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia also contributed to this report.
CHICAGO (AP) -- Andrew Shaw scored on a deflection in triple overtime to lift the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins in a riveting Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals on Wednesday night.
Michael Roszival shot the puck from the right point into traffic. It deflected off Dave Bolland and Shaw before slipping past Tuukka Rask. Boston's Kaspars Daugavins had a huge opportunity midway through the third overtime but his backhand shot in the crease went wide after Johnny Oduya got a stick on him.
All of this came after Jaromir Jagr nearly won it for Boston in the closing seconds of the second OT when the puck deflected off him and hit the post, preserving the tie.
The Bruins were on a power play after Chicago got called for too many men on the ice with 52.8 seconds left in the second OT.
Zdeno Chara's shot from the right point hit Jagr in the slot and deflected off the right post, then bounded through the crease in the waning seconds.
With Original Six franchises playing for a championship for the first time in 34 years, the series is off to a rousing start.
The Blackhawks got third-period goals from Dave Bolland and Oduya to erase a 3-1 deficit. Corey Crawford was simply spectacular in the extra period, and the Blackhawks wound up going to double OT for the second straight game after taking out the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference finals.
Crawford made a sprawled-out pad save on Shawn Thornton about four minutes into OT, and he stood his ground in a flurry with just under eight minutes remaining, stopping Rich Peverley and Tyler Seguin on the rebound to draw oohs and ahhs from the crowd.
In the second overtime, Patrick Kane had a chance to win it. But he fired wide left off the end of his blade from the edge of the crease seven minutes into the period.
Chicago's Michael Frolik just missed high and wide with 6:30 remaining, and Shaw's stuff-in attempt with 3:51 left got stuffed by Rask.
The Bruins appeared to be in good shape building a 3-1 lead in regulation, with Milan Lucic scoring twice and Patrice Bergeron adding a power-play goal just over six minutes into the third. But the Blackhawks came storming back after that.
Shaw picked off a clearing attempt by Torey Krug and fed Bolland on a two-on-one rush to pull Chicago within one with 12 minutes left in regulation. Lucic then got stopped on a two-on-one by Crawford midway through the third, and Oduya tied it for Chicago when his shot from the point deflected off Andrew Ference and bounced past Rask.
Just like that, the Blackhawks were back in it. Crawford fought off a big flurry by Boston in the closing minutes, and the game went to overtime with Chicago outshooting Boston 39-25 after getting off to a slow start.
The Bruins grabbed a 1-0 lead at the 13:11 mark of the opening period after David Krejci knocked Niklas Hjalmarsson off the puck along the boards behind the net. He fed a pass to Nathan Horton, who feathered the puck across to Lucic for an easy wrist shot from the slot in front of Crawford.
Lucic struck again just 51 seconds into the second period with another wrist shot after Hjalmarsson gambled along the boards and fell, allowing Boston to break in.
Chicago started to come on strong after that.
The Blackhawks got on the board just over two minutes later when rookie Brandon Saad scored his first goal of the playoffs. He carried the puck down the ice but was bumped off it in the left corner of the Boston zone. Marian Hossa recovered it and fed Saad in the slot, making it 2-1 and bringing the sellout crowd to their feet.
The Blackhawks' momentum came screeching to a halt on a power play - make that a two-man advantage - midway through the second. A big issue during the regular season, it continues to haunt the Blackhawks in the playoffs.
They came in 7 for 51 on the power play - 12th among the 16 playoff teams - and that number took another hit when they couldn't convert a five-on three advantage, Horton got called for interference at 7:37 and the Bruins were whistled for having too many men on the ice at 8:20, but Chicago came away empty.
Before Saad's tally, Rask had not given up a goal in 149:36 - he gave up only two goals in a four-game sweep of Pittsburgh - and he saved 54 shots through the first two OTs for the Bruins, who are seeking their second title in three years.
Crawford made 44 stops through the first two overtimes for the Blackhawks, back in the finals for the first time since their championship run three years ago, didn't get much going in this one.
Not since the Montreal Canadiens knocked off the New York Rangers in five games in 1979 had Original Six teams played for the championship. But both these teams have been here, done that, with Chicago winning it all in 2010 and Boston taking the championship the following season.
For the Blackhawks, it was a long climb back.
The buzzer had barely stopped ringing after Kane scored the winning goal against Philadelphia to end a 49-year championship drought when the bulldozer hit Chicago. Salary cap issues forced the Blackhawks to part with a long line of supporting players, and the result was back-to-back first-round playoff losses.
But things sure came together this year. From a 24-game points streak to start to capturing the Presidents' Trophy at the end, no team dominated like Chicago during the regular season. In the playoffs, things haven't been as easy. The Blackhawks took out Minnesota in five games, but had to rally to beat Detroit in the Western Conference semifinals.
They won that one in seven games and didn't blink facing arguably the league's hottest goalie in the conference finals. Instead, they took out Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings, winning Game 5 in overtime on Kane's third goal of the game to get to this point.
The Bruins, meanwhile, nearly got eliminated in the first round but have been on a roll ever since.
It's a big reversal after they blew a 3-1 series lead in Round 1 against Toronto and fell behind by three in the seventh game.
Then they did something no other team had done. They became the first team in league history to take a Game 7 after trailing by three in the third, with Patrice Bergeron scoring the tying and winning goals. Since then, they've made it look easier.
They beat the New York Rangers in five games and swept Pittsburgh, never trailing and allowing just two goals in the series while keeping former MVPs Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin without a point.
Now, here they are, the physical Bruins going against high-flying Blackhawks. Both teams came in with hot goalies, with Rask posting a league playoff-high .943 save percentage for Boston and Crawford not far behind at .935.
A big question for the Blackhawks was how they would get around the 6-foot-9 Chara. Coach Joel Quenneville decided to split up Jonathan Toews and Kane and keep one of his biggest stars away from the big defender, after they played on the same line for the last part of the Los Angeles series.