Iranian presidential election: The Iranian Interior Ministry announced today (Saturday) the official results of the presidential election held yesterday and announced that the conservative candidate Ibrahim Raisi, who enjoys the support of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, won the majority of votes.
Khamenei congratulated the results and claimed that it was a victory over the enemy. “The big winner in yesterday’s election is the Iranian nation, because it has risen again in the face of the propaganda of the media of the enemy’s mercenaries,” he said.
According to a senior Iranian Interior Ministry official, Raisi has won 17.8 million votes so far. He noted that more than 28 million Iranians out of 59 million eligible voters voted, meaning that the turnout was about 45%.
Amnesty International: “To open an investigation into crimes against humanity”
Following his election, the human rights organization Amnesty International called for an investigation into Raisi for crimes against humanity, including the murder, kidnapping and torture of thousands of political opponents in the late 1980s.
According to the organization, Raisi was a member of the “Death Committee” that abducted thousands of political opponents and executed them without trial in the Evin and Gohrstadt prisons near Tehran in 1988. According to them, We call for an investigation. “
“As head of the Iranian judiciary, Raisi has carried out the grave violation of human rights and executions have taken place under his supervision,” the organization said, urging member states of the UN Human Rights Council to take concrete steps urgently. According to international law. “
Even before the official results were announced, many in Iran were quick to congratulate Raisi. Among the standout greetings was Raisi’s main rival, the moderate Iranian presidential candidate, who congratulated Raisi on winning the election, the Iranian state media reported.
Outgoing President Hassan Rouhani also congratulated the “People’s Elected” without mentioning Raisi on his behalf, “since it has not yet been officially announced, I will delay the official blessings. But it is clear who received the votes,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast on state television.
Raisi, 60, is considered a more radical candidate compared to Rouhani, who will replace him, and headed Iran’s legal system. As part of this role, he was sanctioned by the United States for being involved in human rights abuses, when, among other things, he sentenced political prisoners to death. According to human rights organizations, he is responsible for the execution of thousands of political prisoners in the late 1980s and the repression of the “green movement” that rejoiced after the 2009 election.
Raisi supports the continuation of the nuclear talks, but his victory may make it difficult for the Biden administration, which has promised to put at the center of its agenda the fight against human rights violations around the world. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Raisi would lead Iran well and that everyone would have to work with him from now on. He said the gaps in the nuclear talks with Western powers are unbridgeable and that he expects to reach a result before August.
As mentioned, according to early estimates, the turnout among Iranians was only about 45%, lower than in previous elections. Apparently, the low turnout reflects a growing distrust of the Iranians in the regime, after years of economic hardship and severe damage to the country during the corona crisis.
There were also allegations of manipulations made in the election process to give priority to the conservative-extremist candidate: parts of the opposition and the moderate camp boycotted the election, arguing that it was decided in advance in favor of Raisi, with the disqualification of more moderate candidates by the Supreme Leader.
Raisi also enjoys the important support of the Revolutionary Guards, who over the years have opposed any regime reforms, suppressed demonstrations and used militias across the Middle East to expand Iran’s influence. As a result, Khamenei, Raisi and Rouhani made an effort to encourage citizens to go out and vote, fearing that a low turnout would hurt the legitimacy of the new regime and government.