Iran: Reformist Pezeshkian is New President

The candidate, considered a moderate, defeated Saied Jalili in a July 5 runoff with 53.6% of the vote

Reformist MP Massoud Pezeshkian has become Iran’s new president. Iran’s former health minister won the second round of the 14th presidential election, which was necessary after the premature death of Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash on May 14, 2024.

According to official data from the Interior Ministry’s election headquarters, turnout in the second round of the presidential election on Friday was 49.8%, while only about 40% voted in the first round on June 28. “Of Iran’s 60 million eligible voters, more than 30 million took part in Friday’s elections,” the Interior Ministry explained. Official figures show that Pezeshkian received about 16.4 million votes, while conservative Saied Jalili received about 13.5 million votes.

“We will extend the hand of friendship to all,” were Pezeshkian’s first words. “We are all people of this country. Iran’s progress will require everyone’s help.”

Pezeshkian will become the ninth leader of the Islamic Republic after the victory that came as a surprise to many, as it was expected that the various conservative candidates defeated in the first round and the electorate associated with them would unite for a runoff. In any case, no radical changes in the country’s domestic or foreign policy are foreseen: the president has limited powers and is subordinate to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.