World watches as Iran’s reformist candidate wins snap presidential elections

World watches as Iran’s reformist candidate wins snap presidential elections

Masoud Pezeshkian, a pro-reform candidate expected to get the least votes in the recent snap elections, was declared the ninth president of Iran.

Pezeshkian beat his hardline conservative rival during the runoff elections, with about 30 million votes cast.

The 69-year-old lawmaker, former heart surgeon, and health minister secured 53.6 percent of the votes.

Hardliner conservative rival Saeed Jalili on the other hand garnered 44.3 percent. He had a friendly meeting with Pezeshkian and publicly accepted his defeat.

A second round of voting was held on Friday, the 5th of July, after none of the four remaining candidates secured more than 50 percent of the vote to secure a majority.

The President-elect will take an oath in the parliament in early August before officially taking office.

Pezeshkian, a reformist lawmaker, campaigned for constructive talks with Western powers to revive the abandoned nuclear deal signed in 2015 and to lift the sanctions that he says have crippled the Iranian economy, however, he hasn’t presented any clear plan on how to achieve this.

Such a decision requires the approval of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the most powerful political authority in Iran, who for years had an intense standoff with the United States and its Western allies.

Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China congratulated Pezeshkian and expressed hopes for further reinforcement of ties.

The elections happened a year earlier following the unexpected death of former President Ebrahim Raisi in a tragic helicopter crash on May 19.

The international community watches whether the unexpected victory of the reformist candidate could lead to changes in Iran’s foreign policy towards Russia and soften its stance towards Western powers.


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