Iran’s Reformist Candidate Masoud Pezeshkian Wins Presidential Election


Masoud Pezeshkian, a reformist candidate, has won Iran’s runoff presidential election, defeating hard-liner Saeed Jalili. Pezeshkian’s victory was hailed as a major shift in Iran’s politics, as he promised to reach out to the West and ease enforcement on the country’s mandatory headscarf law.

The vote count offered by authorities showed Pezeshkian receiving 16.3 million votes, while Jalili received 13.5 million. A total of 30 million people voted in the election, with 49.6% of the electorate casting their ballots.

Pezeshkian, a doctor who has never held a sensitive security post, will have to navigate Iran’s complex internal politics and tensions in the Middle East. His win comes at a time of heightened regional tensions, with the Israel-Hamas war and Iran’s advancing nuclear program sparking concerns.

Iran’s Interior Ministry reported a low turnout in the election, with only 49.6% of eligible voters casting their ballots. The government had predicted higher turnout, but online videos showed empty polling stations and a heavy security presence.

Many Iranians expressed hope for change, with some saying they were pleased that the vote put a brake on hard-liners. A bank employee, Fatemeh Babaei, said she hoped Pezeshkian would bring about economic improvements and create a sense of hope for the future.

Pezeshkian campaigned on outreach to Iran’s many ethnicities, promising to improve the economy and promote dialogue with the West. His win is seen as a significant shift, as he represents the first president from western Iran in decades.

Iran’s regional rivals, including Saudi Arabia and Russia, congratulated Pezeshkian on his victory, while there was no immediate response from the United States. The election comes as Iran continues to enrich uranium at near-weapons-grade levels, sparking concerns over its nuclear program.

Max Thornberry
Max Thornberry
Breaking News Editor. Max previously reported on business, agriculture, crime, courts, and local and state government for the Northern Virginia Daily. Originally from California, Max studied journalism at the University of Oregon.

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