The head of the conservative judiciary Ebrahim Raisi will take office in early August, replacing moderate President Hassan Rouhani.
Tehran, Iran – The head of the conservative judiciary Ebrahim Raisi has been elected as the eighth president of Iran, the interior ministry said.
The ministry confirmed on Saturday that Raisi won 61.95 percent of the vote in Friday’s election out of a turnout of 48.8 percent, the lowest turnout for a presidential election since the 1979 revolution. Raisi received 28,933,004 votes.
With 3,726,870 votes, the null votes finished second in the race, also for the first time since the founding of the Islamic Republic.
Former Revolutionary Guard commander Mohsen Rezaei was third with 3,412,712 votes, followed by moderate candidate Abdolnasswer Hemmati with 2,427,201 votes and conservative Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi with 999,718 votes.
“We did not have any violations that would have a significant impact on the outcome of the elections,” Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli said at a press conference.
Rezaei, Hemmati and Hashemi had conceded before Saturday’s announcement.
Raisi will take office in early August, replacing moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who was not constitutionally authorized to run for a third consecutive term.
“I congratulate the people on their choice,” Rouhani said on Saturday.
Raisi’s election marks a consolidation of the power of the conservative and hardline camp, which already controls parliament and will likely have a replacement for the judiciary.
The Muslim scholar, who wears a black turban to signify that he is a descendant of the Prophet of Islam Muhammad, is also considered the next supreme ruler of the country.
Raisi became the first Iranian president to be sanctioned by the United States even before taking office as he was appointed in 2019.
The United States blacklisted him for his role in the mass execution of political prisoners in 1988, his involvement in suppressing the 2009 Green Movement protests, and “the administration of monitoring the executions of individuals. who were minors at the time of their crime ”.
Raisi grew up in the northeastern town of Mashhad, an important religious center for Shia Muslims where Imam Reza, the eighth Shiite religious leader, is buried.
He attended Qom Seminary and studied with some of Iran’s most prominent Muslim scholars, including Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei.
After becoming a prosecutor for several jurisdictions, Raisi moved to the capital, Tehran, in 1985 after being appointed deputy prosecutor.
After rising through the ranks of the justice system, he was appointed in March 2016 by the Supreme Leader Guardian of Atan-e Quds Razavi, the influential shrine of Imam Reza, where he controlled billions of dollars in assets.
He ran in the presidential elections unsuccessfully against Rouhani in 2017, garnering 38% of the vote.
“Rival of corruption”
Raisi had pledged to improve the Iranian economy which is suffering under US sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic which has exacerbated decades-long infrastructure problems due to local mismanagement.
Although he had previously opposed Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Raisi said during presidential debates earlier this month that he would uphold the landmark deal like any other commitment from the United States. State.
He said, however, that he would form a “strong” government to steer the deal in the right direction.