Iran's hardline diplomat, sole moderate to square off in presidential run-off

    The Hawk
    June29/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    The contest to replace the late President Ebrahim Raisi is now between moderate lawmaker Massoud Pezeshkian, who leads with over 10 million votes, and hardline diplomat Saeed Jalili, with 9.4 million votes.

    Electoral staff in Iran

    Dubai: Iran will hold a run-off presidential election on July 5 after neither of the top candidates secured more than 50 per cent of votes in Friday's polls, the interior ministry said on Saturday.

    The vote to replace Ebrahim Raisi after his death in a helicopter crash came down to a tight race between the sole moderate in a field of four candidates and the supreme leader's hardline protege.

    With more than 24 million votes counted, moderate lawmaker Massoud Pezeshkian led with over 10 million votes ahead of hardline diplomat Saeed Jalili with over 9.4 million votes, according to provisional results released by the ministry.

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    Power in Iran ultimately lies with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, so the result will not herald any major policy shift on Iran's nuclear programme or its support for militia groups across the Middle East.

    But the president runs the government day-to-day and can influence the tone of Iran's policy.