Raisi, who has lengthy opposed engagement with the West and is an in depth ally of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sailed to victory in a ballot that noticed all of his critical rivals barred within the runup to the race.

The 60-year-old received virtually 18 million of the almost 29 million ballots solid, Interior Minister Rahmani Fazli introduced Saturday. But many reform-minded Iranians refused to participate in an election extensively seen as a foregone conclusion. Overall voter turnout was 48.8% — the bottom because the institution of the Islamic Republic in 1979.

Many activists accused Iran’s clerical institution of “selecting” somewhat than electing the following president in a ballot designed to additional entrench the ability of the nation’s hardline clerical rulers, regardless of the general public’s requires reforms.

The historically low turnout got here regardless of quite a few pleas from Khamenei urging individuals to vote. On Friday, he warned that low turnout would “increase the pressure of the enemies.”

President-elect Raisi will formally take workplace in 45 days, at which level he’ll turn out to be Iran’s eighth president. Until that point, Hassan Rouhani will stay performing president of Iran. Rouhani visited Raisi on Saturdayto supply his congratulations.

The election comes at a pivotal second for Iran. The subsequent authorities should confront an financial disaster exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, and requires constitutional reform. Tehran can also be presently locked in negotiations with the United States about the right way to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

The election of Raisi will additional heighten hypothesis that he’s being groomed to at some point succeed 81-year-old Khamenei because the Supreme Leader. Under Iran’s political system, it’s in the end the Supreme Leader, not the president, who makes the ultimate name on all main issues of state.

Raisi largely campaigned on an anti-graft platform — an obvious bid to appease voter frustrations with a flailing financial system blamed on crippling US sanctions and authorities corruption.

For most of his profession, nevertheless, he performed a number one function within the prosecution of Iran’s political prisoners.

Khamenei cast his ballot on Friday and called on Iranians to get to the polls.
In 1988, Raisi was a part of a four-person “death panel” that allegedly oversaw the mass execution of as much as 5,000 political prisoners, in accordance with rights teams. His two years as Iran’s chief justice had been marked by the intensified repression of dissent and human rights abuses. Amnesty International demanded on Saturday that he be investigated for alleged crimes towards humanity over the deaths.

Raisi has by no means commented on the allegations, nevertheless it’s extensively believed that he not often leaves Iran for worry of retribution or worldwide justice over the executions.

Raisi is not any fan of the West, and has repeatedly extolled the advantages of Iran’s so-called “resistance economy,” which promotes financial self-reliance within the face of Western sanctions.

However, consultants mentioned his election was unlikely to have an effect on the course of oblique negotiations with the United States on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif mentioned Saturday he anticipated that talks on returning to the phrases of the deal would “most likely” conclude earlier than the tip of Rouhani’s time period in August.

“The Vienna talks are going well and it’s likely that there will be an agreement before the month of August, but there are still obstacles,” Zarif mentioned.

If talks spill over into Raisi’s tenure, they may largely depend on who the incoming president appoints as his international minister. In 2015, the success of the deal, which noticed Iran place limits on its uranium enrichment program in change for sanctions reduction, was largely attributed to Zarif.

Many consultants see this election as one of many by-products of former President Donald Trump’s most strain marketing campaign towards Iran, when the US pulled out of the nuclear deal though Tehran had complied with the phrases of the pact.

From 2018 onwards, Trump unleashed a torrent of sanctions that crippled Iran’s financial system and emboldened hardliners. The tiny window of alternative granted by the clerical class to the reasonable authorities of President Rouhani to have interaction with the US and Europe started to rapidly shut.

Trump had confirmed the hardliners’ skepticism concerning the West right, Iran’s conservatives repeatedly mentioned. The nation’s reformist camp was undermined and conservatives swept a parliamentary election in 2020. Raisi’s election means Iran’s conservatives will now management all three branches of presidency.

Experts say Iran is unlikely to have interaction with the West past returning to the nuclear deal, satisfying itself with bolstering relations with Russia and China. It might additionally drop any pretense of democracy because it turns into much less vulnerable to Western criticism of its rights abuses within the aftermath of the potential restoration of the nuclear deal.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of many first world leaders to congratulate Raisi on Saturday. He expressed “hope for the further development of bilateral constructive cooperation in various fields, as well as interaction on international issues, noting that this is in the interests of the two countries,” Russian state media Ria Novosti reported.

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