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Ultra-conservative Ebrahim Raisi wins Iran’s presidential election after securing 62% votes

Hardliner Ebrahim Raisi won Iran’s presidential election after securing 62% of the votes.

Mr Raisi is Iran’s top judge and holds ultra-conservative views. He is under US sanctions and has been linked to past executions of political prisoners.

Iran’s president is the second-highest ranking official in the country, after the supreme leader.




Mr Raisi will be inaugurated in early August, and will have significant influence over domestic policy and foreign affairs. But in Iran’s political system it is the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the top religious cleric, who has the final say on all state matters.

Iran is run according to conservative Shia Islamic values, and there have been curbs on political freedoms since its Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Many Iranians saw this latest election as having been engineered for Mr Raisi to win, and shunned the poll. Official figures showed voter turnout was the lowest ever for a presidential election, at 48.8%, compared to more than 70% for the previous vote in 2017.



‘OVERSAW 5,000 DEATHS’

The 60-year-old cleric has served as a prosecutor for most of his career. He was appointed head of the judiciary in 2019, two years after he lost by a landslide to Hassan Rouhani in the last presidential election.

Mr Raisi has presented himself as the best person to fight corruption and solve Iran’s economic problems. “Our people’s grievances over shortcomings are real,” he said as he cast his vote in Tehran.

He is fiercely loyal to Iran’s ruling clerics, and has even been seen as a possible successor to Ayatollah Khamenei as the country’s supreme leader.

Many Iranians and rights groups have pointed to Mr Raisi’s role in the mass executions of political prisoners in the 1980s. He was one of four judges who oversaw death sentences for about 5,000 prisoners, according to Amnesty International.

“That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture, is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran,” said Amnesty chief Agnès Callamard.

Iran has never acknowledged the mass executions and Mr Raisi has never addressed the allegations about his role in them.

Amnesty also says that as head of the judiciary Mr Raisi oversaw impunity for officials and security forces accused of killing protesters during unrest in 2019.