Pezeshkian Elected President of Iran in Runoff Election

Masoud Pezeshkian, a heart surgeon who has transitioned into politics, will succeed the late Ebrahim Raisi as the new President of Iran.

Reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian triumphed over his conservative rival Saeed Jalili in the second round of the presidential election, securing nearly three million more votes, according to the election headquarters in Tehran.

Pezeshkian has officially been declared the victor, according to local media reports on Saturday morning, citing a spokesperson from Iran’s election headquarters, which operates under the country’s interior ministry.

Following a complete count, Pezeshkian garnered approximately 16.4 million votes, while Jalili received around 13.5 million, as reported by Press TV. Voter turnout reached just over 30.5 million, representing roughly 49.8% of the 61 million eligible voters, according to a final update at 6:45 am local time (3:15 GMT).

The snap election was called following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in Iran’s East Azerbaijan Province on May 19. Iranian law mandates that a candidate must secure at least 50% plus one vote to win; however, as no candidate achieved this threshold in the first round on June 28, the election proceeded to a runoff between the top two candidates.

Pezeshkian, 69, is a heart surgeon who entered the political realm, serving as health minister during the 2000s and as the first deputy speaker of parliament from 2016 to 2020. Jalili, 58, held the position of Tehran’s negotiator during nuclear talks with world powers. The candidates were approved by Iran’s Guardian Council, a body of clerics and jurists that has veto power over legislation passed by parliament and determines who can hold office in the Islamic Republic.