Iran votes for a reformist as president

Wednesday 10th July 2024 07:11 EDT

Tehran: Iranians have picked reformist Masoud Pezeshkian as the Islamic republic’s next president in a election to replace Ebrahim Raisi who was killed in a helicopter crash in May. Pezeshkian, a 69-year-old heart surgeon, won the largest number of votes in the runoff against ultraconservative Saeed Jalili, taking around 16 million votes or 54% of about 30 million cast. He rode on support from the country’s main reformist coalition and many Iranians who feared a continued hardline grip on power.
Unlike in many countries, Iran’s president is not head of state, and the ultimate authority rests with the supreme leader - a post held by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for 35 years.
In campaigning, Pezeshkian called for “constructive relations” with Western countries to “get Iran out of its isolation”. He pledged to try to revive a 2015 nuclear deal with the US and other powers, which imposed curbs on Iran’s nuclear activity in return for sanctions relief.
Within Iran, he vowed to ease long-standing internet curbs and to “fully” oppose police patrols enforcing the mandatory headscarf on women, a high-profile issue since the custody death in 2022 of Mahsa Amini, which sparked nationwide unrest.
Pezeshkian also pledged to involve more women and ethnic minorities such as Kurds and Baluchis in his government. He has also promised to reduce inflation, now hovering at around 40%, which he says has “crushed the nation’s back” in recent years. In one debate with Jalili, Pezeshkian estimated that Iran needs $200 billion in foreign investment.

comments powered by Disqus

to the free, weekly Asian Voice email newsletter