Centrist Massoud Beseshkian to be sworn in as Iran’s next president | Election news

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Pezeshkian won with 16.3 million votes to Seyed Jalili’s 13.5 million, the Interior Ministry said.

Iran’s heart surgeon and member of parliament, Masoud Besheshkian, who vowed to visit the West, has won the presidential election, defeating rival Saeed Jalili, the interior ministry said.

“By receiving [the] “Pezeshkian has become the next president of Iran with a majority of votes cast on Friday,” the ministry said on Saturday.

According to the official count, Pezeshkian received 53.7 percent of the vote, or 16.3 million votes. Jalili got 44.3 percent or 13.5 million.

In his first public comments since the results were announced, Beseshkian thanked those who voted the country “with love and help”.

“Let us extend the hand of friendship to all… We are all people of this country… We should use everyone for the betterment of the country,” he said on state television.

Pezeshkian’s supporters took to the streets of Tehran and other cities early Saturday to celebrate his growing lead over Jalili, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Videos on social media showed his supporters dancing in the streets in several towns and cities across the country and motorists honking car horns to cheer his victory.

Turnout was 49.8 percent in a tight race between Pezeshkian, the only moderate in the original field of four candidates who promised to open Iran to the world, and former nuclear negotiator Jalili, a staunch supporter of deepening ties with Iran. to Russia and China.

More than 60 percent of Iranian voters abstained in a snap election for Ibrahim Raisi’s successor following his death in a helicopter crash in May.

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In June’s election, Besheshkian won 42.5 percent of the vote and Jalili 38.7 percent.

Only 40 percent of the 61 million eligible voters cast ballots in June, the lowest turnout in any presidential election since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Political analysts see Pezeshkian’s victory as improving a pragmatic foreign policy, easing tensions over now-stalled negotiations with major powers to renew the 2015 nuclear deal and improve prospects for social liberalization and political pluralism.

However, many voters in Iran are skeptical about Beseshkian’s ability to deliver on his campaign promises, as the former health minister has publicly said he has no intention of standing up to Iran’s powerful clerics and security hawks.

Since 2018, after U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the nuclear deal, both presidential candidates have pledged to revive a moribund economy plagued by mismanagement and sanctions.

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