Ebrahim Raisi, a candidate in Iran’s presidential elections waves to the media after casting his vote at a polling station on June 18, 2021, on the day of the Islamic republic’s presidential election.

Majid Saeedi | Getty Photos Information | Getty Photos

Hardline choose Ebrahim Raisi leads Iran’s presidential election, an inside ministry official mentioned on Saturday, a day after tens of millions of Iranians voted in a contest that critics boycotted over financial woes and political restrictions.

Raisi had to this point received 17.8 million votes, the official mentioned in a televised information convention. Greater than 28 million Iranians out of 59 million eligible voters solid ballots, the official mentioned.

Raisi, a 60-year-old Shi’ite cleric who’s topic to U.S. sanctions for alleged human rights abuses, had been extensively anticipated to win the competition, because of Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s help.

Raisi’s solely reasonable rival congratulated him.

“I hope your administration, beneath the management of Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will make the Islamic Republic proud, enhance livelihood and make sure the nation’s well-being and welfare,” media quoted former central financial institution chief Abdolnasser Hemmati as saying in a letter.

In a televised speech, outgoing President Hassan Rouhani congratulated “the folks’s elected (president)”, with out naming him.

“As a result of it has not been formally introduced but, I’ll delay the official congratulations. However it’s clear who obtained the votes,” Rouhani mentioned.

Different candidates additionally congratulated Raisi.

Raisi is a harsh critic of the West and the standard-bearer of Iran’s safety hawks.

Accused by critics of human rights abuses stretching again many years — allegations his defenders deny — Raisi was appointed by Khamenei to the high-profile job of judiciary chief in 2019.

The election comes at a vital time. Iran and 6 main powers are in talks to revive their 2015 nuclear deal. Then U.S. President Donald Trump deserted the deal in 2018 and reimposed crippling sanctions which have squeezed Iran’s oil revenue.

Raisi provided no detailed political or financial programme throughout his election marketing campaign, however has backed the revival of the nuclear pact, a improvement that might carry an easing of U.S. sanctions which have crushed the financial system.

Khamenei, not the president, has the final say on all state issues like overseas and nuclear insurance policies.

Lack of selection

Hoping to spice up their legitimacy, the nation’s clerical rulers had urged folks to end up and vote on Friday, however dissidents inside and overseas mentioned common anger over financial hardship and curbs on freedoms stored many Iranians at dwelling.

One other deterrent for a lot of pro-reform voters was a scarcity of selection after a hardline election physique barred heavyweight reasonable and conservative candidates from standing.

Analysts mentioned the exclusions by the Guardian Council cleared the way in which for Raisi’s anticipated victory.

Earlier than Hemmati’s concession, a U.S. State Division spokesperson mentioned: “Iranians had been denied their proper to decide on their very own leaders in a free and honest electoral course of” — a probable reference to the disqualification of candidates.

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