Iran’s Reformist Candidate Pezeshkian Wins Presidential Election

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Masoud Pezeshkian

ran’s reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian emerged victorious in Saturday’s presidential runoff against ultraconservative Saeed Jalili, announced the interior ministry. Pezeshkian secured over 16 million votes, surpassing Jalili’s 13 million, in a total turnout of 49.8 percent, with more than 600,000 ballots reported as spoiled

Expressing gratitude to his supporters for their “loving” participation in the electoral process, Pezeshkian emphasized unity and collaboration in his victory speech broadcasted on state television. “We extend a hand of friendship to all fellow citizens, leveraging everyone’s contributions for our nation’s advancement.”

The candidacy of Pezeshkian, previously a lesser-known figure, invigorated Iran’s reformist movement, which saw unprecedented support amid longstanding conservative dominance. Former presidents Mohammad Khatami and Hassan Rouhani endorsed Pezeshkian, emphasizing his potential to steer the country towards constructive engagement with the West, particularly in reviving the nuclear agreement to alleviate Iran’s economic isolation.

In contrast, Jalili, known for his firm anti-Western stance as Iran’s former nuclear negotiator, rallied significant hardline support throughout his campaign. The televised debates between Pezeshkian and Jalili highlighted critical issues including voter apathy, economic challenges, international relations, and civil liberties, underscoring their divergent visions for Iran’s future.

Looking forward, Pezeshkian pledged to ease internet restrictions and address contentious social policies, promising comprehensive opposition to police enforcement of mandatory dress codes. His platform resonated with segments of Iranian society grappling with socio-political tensions and economic hardship, signaling a potential shift in Iran’s domestic and international policies under his leadership.

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