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Reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian wins Iran's presidential runoff

Iran's reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian on Saturday won a runoff presidential election against ultraconservative Saeed Jalili, the interior ministry said. Pezeshkian received more than 16 million votes and Jalili more than 13 million out of about 30 million votes cast.

Reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian wins Iran's presidential runoff gcw
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First Published Jul 6, 2024, 9:27 AM IST

Iran's reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian on Saturday won a runoff presidential election against ultraconservative Saeed Jalili, the interior ministry said. Pezeshkian got more than 17 million votes and Jalili more than 13 million out of about 30 million votes cast, electoral authority spokesman Mohsen Eslami said, adding that voter turnout stood at 49.8 per cent.

Pezeshkian has aligned himself with other moderate and reformist figures during his campaign to replace his late predecessor Ebrahim Raisi, a hardline protégé of Khamenei killed in a helicopter crash in May.

His main advocate has been former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who reached Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that saw sanctions lifted in exchange for the atomic programme being drastically curtailed.

Pezeshkian was born September 29, 1954, in Mahabad in northwestern Iran to an Azeri father and a Kurdish mother. He speaks Azeri and has long focused on the affairs of Iran’s vast minority ethnic groups. Like many, he served in the Iran-Iraq war, sending medical teams to the battlefront.

He became a heart surgeon and served as the head of the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences. However, personal tragedy shaped his life after a 1994 car crash killed his wife, Fatemeh Majidi, and a daughter. The doctor never remarried and raised his remaining two sons and a daughter alone.

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