Victory of reformist former heart surgeon Masoud Pezeshkian shifts Iran's political landscape

Masoud Pezeshkian, a former health minister and long-time parliamentarian, was elected as the ninth president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, securing 53.6% of the vote in a runoff election. His unexpected victory against ultraconservative Saeed Jalili signals a potential shift in Iran's political landscape, raising hopes for reformists after years of conservative dominance.

Masoud Pezeshkian, Iran's only reformist candidate in the latest presidential election, has risen from relative obscurity to become the ninth president of the Islamic republic.

Pezeshkian, 69, won around 53.6 percent of the vote in a runoff election against the ultraconservative Saeed Jalili.

In the first round of Iran's snap elections on June 28, Pezeshkian led the polls against three other conservative figures, stunning supporters and rivals alike.

Pezeshkian's victory has raised the hopes of Iran's reformists after years of dominance by the conservative and ultraconservative camps.

He will replace late ultraconservative president Ebrahim Raisi who died in a May helicopter crash.

"The difficult path ahead will not be smooth except with your companionship, empathy, and trust. I extend my hand to you," Pezeshkian said in a post on X, after on Tuesday saying he would "extend the hand of friendship to everyone" if he won.

He also vowed to ease internet restrictions and to involve ethnic minorities in his government.


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