Reformist Masoud Pezeshkian Wins Iran Presidential Election

Reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian has won Iran’s runoff presidential election, beating hardliner Saeed Jalili by promising to reach out to the west and ease enforcement on the country’s mandatory headscarf law after years of sanctions and protests squeezing the Islamic Republic.

A vote count offered by authorities on Saturday morning put Pezeshkian as the winner with 16.3 million votes to Jalili’s 13.5 million after Friday’s voting.

Supporters of Pezeshkian, a heart surgeon and longtime lawmaker, entered the streets of Tehran and other cities before dawn to celebrate as his lead grew and victory became apparent over Jalili – a former nuclear negotiator close to Iran’s supreme leader.

Pezeshkian promised no radical changes to Iran’s Shia theocracy in his campaign and long has held the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as the final arbiter of all matters of state. But even Pezeshkian’s modest aims will be challenged by an Iranian government still largely held by hardliners.

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The Guardian

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