Pezeshkian Elected President Of Iran, Calls For Improved Western Relations

Dr. Masoud Pezeshkian, a renowned heart surgeon, has been elected President of Iran.

The 69-year-old candidate secured 16.3 million votes in the run-off election, surpassing his opponent Saeed Jalili’s 13.5 million votes.

The election, called early after the death of ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash, followed a first round marked by a historically low turnout last week.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who wields ultimate authority, had called for a higher turnout in the runoff, emphasizing the importance of the election.

“I heard that the enthusiasm and interest of the people is more than before, praise to God that it will be like this, and if it is like this, it will be gratifying,” he said.

He acknowledged the first round’s lower-than-expected turnout but framed it as not being “against the system”.

The ballot took place amid heightened regional tensions over the Gaza war, a dispute with the West regarding Iran’s nuclear program, and domestic discontent with the state of Iran’s sanctions-hit economy.

Despite these challenges, President-elect Pezeshkian’s stated in his victory speech the need for “constructive relations” with Western countries, aiming to revive the nuclear deal and end Iran’s isolation.

The newly elected president appreciated his supporters who came to vote “with love and to help” the country.

“We will extend the hand of friendship to everyone; we are all people of this country; we should use everyone for the progress of the country,” he said on state television.

Pezeshkian’s election and diplomatic outreach may signal a new era in Iran’s relations with the global community.

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