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Reformist Masoud Pezeshkian elected as Iran’s new president | World News

Reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian has been elected as Iran’s new president, beating hardline conservative Saeed Jalili.

The country’s interior ministry confirmed Mr Pezeshkian’s victory on Saturday, after he secured 16.3 million out of the 30 million votes cast on Friday – Mr Jalili gained 13.5 million.

The election was called after the death of former president Ebrahim Raisi who was killed in a helicopter crash in May.

Mr Pezeshkian managed to beat his rival Mr Jalili, after 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.

Videos on social media showed supporters of the 69-year-old heart surgeon dancing in streets in many cities and towns across the country and motorists honking car horns to cheer his victory.

Reformist candidate for the Iran's presidential election Masoud Pezeshkian clenches his fist after casting his vote as he is accompanied by former Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, left, at a polling station in Shahr-e-Qods near Tehran, Iran, Friday, July 5, 2024. Iranians are voting in a runoff election to replace the late President Ebrahim Raisi, who was killed in a May helicopter crash in the country...s northwest along with the foreign minister and several other officials. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
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Pic: AP

The run-off followed the first round of the election on 28 June which saw a historically low turnout, when over 60% of Iranian voters abstained.

Mr Pezeshkian was the only candidate out of six considered as a moderate.

According to analysts, he is likely to be welcomed by world leaders who hope he might pursue peaceful ways out of a tense stand-off over Iran’s fast-advancing nuclear programme.

But his aims might meet resistance from the Iranian government which is still largely held by hard-liners.

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