Ultraconservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi was declared the winner Saturday of Iran’s presidential election, a widely anticipated result after many political heavyweights were barred from running.
Raisi won 62 per cent of the vote with about 90 per cent of ballots counted from Friday’s election, poll officials said, without releasing turnout figures, after the three other candidates had conceded defeat.
‘I congratulate the people on their choice,’ said outgoing moderate president Hassan Rouhani, who has served the maximum of two consecutive four-year terms and leaves office in August.
Raisi, 60, is set to take over at a critical time, as Iran seeks to salvage its tattered nuclear deal with major powers and free itself from punishing United States sanctions that have driven a sharp economic downturn.
The head of the Iranian judiciary, whose black turban signifies direct descent from Islam’s Prophet Mohammed, Raisi is seen as close to the 81-year-old supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has ultimate political power in Iran.