71-year-old heart surgeon elected Iranian President

71-year-old heart surgeon elected Iranian President

 

Masoud Pezeshkian, a reformist and a heart surgeon, has been elected as Iran’s new president, defeating his hardline conservative rival Saeed Jalili.

Pezeshkian secured 53.3% of the votes in the runoff election, with Jalili receiving 44.3%.

The election was necessitated by the tragic death of former President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in May, which claimed the lives of seven others.

Leaders from China, India, and Russia have extended their congratulations to Dr. Pezeshkian on his victory.

Supporters of Pezeshkian took to the streets of Tehran and other cities to celebrate his win even before the final results were officially announced by Iran’s interior ministry.

Videos on social media depicted jubilant scenes of young people dancing with Pezeshkian’s campaign green flag, accompanied by cars honking in celebration.

According to BBC news, the 71-year-old Pezeshkian, a member of the Iranian parliament, has been vocal about reforming Iran’s policies, including criticizing the morality police and advocating for national unity and an end to Iran’s international isolation.

He has also expressed willingness to engage in constructive negotiations with Western powers to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, aimed at easing Western sanctions in exchange for curbing Iran’s nuclear program.

In contrast, his opponent Saeed Jalili, a former nuclear negotiator, maintained a hardline stance against Western engagement, citing concerns over national sovereignty and red lines in international negotiations.

The voter turnout in the runoff election reached 50%, higher than the historically low turnout of 40% in the first round.

Many Iranians boycotted the election due to discontent with the restricted choice of candidates vetted by the Guardian Council, a body criticized for disqualifying candidates perceived as not loyal to the regime.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei acknowledged the reasons behind the low turnout, attributing it to various factors that politicians and sociologists will examine.

He also recognized the discontent among segments of Iranian society, asserting that dissenting voices are acknowledged and not hidden from view.

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