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Monday, July 15, 2024

What to find out about Masoud Pezeshkian, Iran’s subsequent president

Iran’s new president, Masoud Pezeshkian, is a reformist who advocates restricted engagement with the West, a coverage that might ease tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and its position within the Center East.

Pezeshkian defeated the outstanding ultraconservative Saeed Jalili within the Friday’s runoff vote, Iranian state media introduced early Saturday, and was little-known outdoors of Iran earlier than changing into the only real reformist accepted to run within the snap election triggered by the demise of Ebrahim Raisi in a Could helicopter crash.

Pezeshkian obtained 16.3 million votes, in response to the nation’s election headquarters, nearly 3 million greater than Jalili, his nearest rival, who trailed behind with 13,538,179.

A cardiac surgeon and veteran of the Iran-Iraq warfare who served in Parliament and as Iran’s well being minister, Pezeshkian rose to energy inside Iran’s parliament by pushing for restricted change however by no means difficult the nation’s system of theocratic rule beneath Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme chief.

Whereas campaigning for president, he advocated restricted social and financial reforms and engagement with america over the nuclear program to raise sanctions which have crippled Iran’s economic system. Pezeshkian’s supporters cite his heritage as an Azeri, one among Iran’s ethnic minorities, as one of many causes they are saying he can act as a unifying pressure within the nation.

“I’ll do all the things potential to take a look at those that weren’t seen by the highly effective and whose voices should not heard. We’ll make poverty, discrimination, warfare, lies and corruption disappear from this nation,” he mentioned throughout a marketing campaign rally this week.

He vowed to bridge what he described because the “hole” in Iran between the folks and authorities.


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Pezeshkian’s victory exhibits he was capable of develop his base of help, pulling from each the reformist and conservative ranks, mentioned Mehrzad Boroujerdi, an Iran analyst and dean at Missouri College of Science and Know-how.

However as soon as in workplace, Iran’s conservatives would possibly frustrate the plans Pezeshkian set out throughout his marketing campaign.

“The conservatives will attempt to create obstacles from day one,” Boroujerdi mentioned. “He gained’t have a lot of a honeymoon … They’ll apply the brakes to no matter Pezeshkian will attempt to do.”

Pezeshkian’s victory was a slender one, and voter turnout remained close to historic lows — limiting the energy of his mandate and demonstrating the depth of public apathy.

In a shock admission, Iran’s supreme chief addressed considerations about low voter turnout in remarks broadcast by state-backed media Wednesday.

“If the folks exhibit higher participation within the elections, the Islamic Republic system will be capable of obtain its phrases, intentions, and targets each throughout the nation and in addition within the broader strategic expectations of the nation,” Khamenei mentioned in a abstract of the remarks posted to X.

Iran’s clerical rulers see excessive turnout as key to their legitimacy, at a time when they’re dealing with each home and regional crises.

Throughout the Center East — from Gaza, to Lebanon and Yemen — armed teams allied with Iran are attacking Israel and its backers, threatening American navy bases and disrupting international delivery lanes. In April, after an Israeli assault on an Iranian diplomatic constructing in Damascus, Syria, Tehran launched its first direct navy assault on Israel, bringing a years-long shadow warfare into the open.

At house, many Iranians are nonetheless reeling from the brutal authorities crackdown on nationwide protests that erupted in 2022, following the demise of Mahsa Amini, a younger Kurdish lady, within the custody of the widely-reviled “morality police.”

Within the rebellion’s aftermath, the regime doubled down, sentencing some protesters to demise and rising penalties for ladies who disobey its strict costume codes.

Amid simmering social unrest and a deepening financial disaster, the presidential marketing campaign featured some uncommon acknowledgment of the challenges confronted by the nation’s ruling class — an indication, analysts say, of how severe these challenges have change into.

“It has reached a stage the place it’s simply inconceivable to miss it,” mentioned Ali Vaez, the Iran mission director for the Worldwide Disaster Group. “The hole between the state and the society has reached a stage the place it can’t simply be painted over.”

When requested about ladies’s rights and the harsh enforcement of the hijab legislation, Pezeshkian mentioned he agreed with the obligatory costume code and mentioned all the ladies in his household put on the chador, a protracted, free black cloak that covers your entire physique from head to toe. However he additionally questioned the best way feminine costume codes are enforced in Iran.

“The view that ladies are second-rate residents and are created just for the sake of the household is one thing that should change,” he mentioned throughout a presidential debate. “Ladies (exist alongside) with males in economic system, in science and in trade and we should always return them to their place.”

Frances Vinall contributed to this report

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