Iran hardliner set for victory as rivals concede defeat

Middle East


Conservative judiciary head Raisi, who is believed to have won by a wide margin, is yet to be officially announced winner.

Three out of four candidates in Iran’s presidential election have conceded defeat hours before the interior ministry is expected to announce the official results.

Early reports said conservative head of the judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi, won by a wide margin. Raisi, a protégé of Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei, was widely seen as the frontrunner in Friday’s election marred by low turnout and the disqualification of many candidates.

Moderate candidate Abdolnaser Hemmati congratulated Raisi for winning the election. “I hope your government, under the leadership of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will bring comfort and prosperity to our nation,” former central bank chief Hemmati said in a letter, state media reported on Saturday.

Raisi did not immediately acknowledge Hemmati’s concession, nor that of former Revolutionary Guard commander Mohsen Rezaei, who also conceded a loss.

The other conservative candidate, Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, explicitly congratulated Raisi.

“I congratulate … Raisi, elected by the nation,” Hashemi said, quoted by Iranian media.

In a televised speech, outgoing President Hassan Rouhani congratulated “the people’s elected [president]”, without naming him.

“Because it has not been officially announced yet, I will delay the official congratulations. But it is clear who received the votes,” Rouhani said.

More to follow





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