Thu, 05 Aug 2021

Tehran [Iran], June 19 (ANI): Iran's ultraconservative cleric and judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi has been elected Iran's eighth president, the country's interior ministry has announced on Saturday.

Former Revolutionary Guard commander Mohsen Rezaei, moderate candidate Abdolnaser Hemmati and conservative candidate Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi had conceded ahead of the announcement on Saturday, reported Al Jazeera.

The ministry confirmed on Saturday that Raisi won 61.95 percent of the vote on a voter turnout of 48.8 percent - the lowest turnout for a presidential election since the 1979 revolution. Raisi got 28,933,004 votes, while former Revolutionary Guard commander Mohsen Rezaei finished third with 3,412,712 votes and was followed by moderate candidate Abdolnasswer Hemmati with 2,427,201 votes, and conservative Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi with 999,718 votes.

Raisi will take office in early August, replacing moderate President Hassan Rouhani who was not allowed by the constitution to run for a third consecutive term.

"I congratulate the people on their choice," said Rouhani after the announcement.

Raisi has become the first Iranian president to be sanctioned by the United States even before assuming office as he was designated in 2019.

The US blacklisted him for his role in the mass execution of political prisoners in 1988, his involvement in the crackdown on the 2009 Green Movement protests, and "administration of oversight over the executions of individuals who were juveniles at the time of their crime", reported Al Jazeera.

It further reported that Raisi grew up in the northeastern city of Mashhad, an important religious centre for Shia Muslims where Imam Reza, the eighth Shia religious leader, is buried.

He attended the seminary in Qom and studied under some of Iran's most prominent Muslim scholars, including Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei.

After becoming the prosecutor for several jurisdictions, Raisi moved to the capital, Tehran, in 1985 after being appointed deputy prosecutor.

After moving up the ranks in the judicial system, in March 2016, he was appointed by the supreme leader as the custodian of the Astan-e Quds Razavi, the influential shrine of Imam Reza, where he controlled billions of dollars in assets.

He had run for president unsuccessfully against Rouhani in 2017, garnering 38 percent of the vote. (ANI)

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