What to know about Masoud Pezeshkian, Iran’s next president

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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 Middle East.

Pezeshkian defeated the distinguished ultraconservative Saeed Jalili within the Friday’s runoff vote, Iranian state media introduced early Saturday, and was little-known outdoors of Iran earlier than turning into the only reformist authorised to run within the snap election triggered by the loss of life of Ebrahim Raisi in a May helicopter crash.

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

A cardiac surgeon and veteran of the Iran-Iraq battle 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.

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

“I will do everything possible to look at those who were not seen by the powerful and whose voices are not heard. We will make poverty, discrimination, war, lies and corruption disappear from this country,” he stated throughout a marketing campaign rally this week.

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

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Pezeshkian’s victory reveals he was ready to broaden his base of help, pulling from each the reformist and conservative ranks, stated Mehrzad Boroujerdi, an Iran analyst and dean at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

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

“The conservatives will try to create obstacles from day one,” Boroujerdi stated. “He won’t have much of a honeymoon … They will apply the brakes to whatever Pezeshkian will try to do.”

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

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

“If the people demonstrate better participation in the elections, the Islamic Republic system will be able to achieve its words, intentions, and goals both within the country and also in the broader strategic expectations of the country,” Khamenei stated 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.

Across the Middle East — from Gaza, to Lebanon and Yemen — armed teams allied with Iran are attacking Israel and its backers, threatening American navy bases and disrupting world 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 battle into the open.

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

In the rebellion’s aftermath, the regime doubled down, sentencing some protesters to loss of life and rising penalties for girls who disobey its strict gown 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 grow to be.

“It has reached a stage where it is just impossible to overlook it,” stated Ali Vaez, the Iran venture director for the International Crisis Group. “The gap between the state and the society has reached a stage where it cannot just be painted over.”

When requested about girls’s rights and the cruel enforcement of the hijab regulation, Pezeshkian stated he agreed with the necessary gown code and stated all the ladies in his household put on the chador, an extended, free black cloak that covers all the physique from head to toe. But he additionally questioned the best way feminine gown codes are enforced in Iran.

“The view that women are second-rate citizens and are created only for the sake of the family is something that needs to change,” he stated throughout a presidential debate. “Women (exist along) with men in economy, in science and in industry and we should return them to their position.”

Frances Vinall contributed to this report



https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/07/06/pezeshkian-iran-new-president/

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