Islamic Republic of Iran: ‘Reformist’ wins presidency, wants ‘friendly relations with all countries except Israel’

The continued naivete of Western analysts who are excited because Masoud Pezeshkian is a “reformist” is astounding. No one can run for the presidency of Iran without Khamenei’s approval. For this guy, “reform” will likely mean that the Sharia police will grin warmly as they arrest women for not wearing hijab.

It is likely, however, that many Iranians voted for him because he was the least detestable candidate. It is possible that many votes for Pezeshkian, even though he is just another regime apparatchik, were expressions of tacit dissatisfaction with the regime.

Iranian reformist Masoud Pezeshkian wins presidential election

Times of Israel, July 6, 2024:

Reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian won Iran’s runoff presidential election, it was announced early Saturday, besting hard-liner Saeed Jalili by promising to reach out to the West and ease enforcement on the country’s mandatory headscarf law after years of sanctions and protests squeezing the Islamic Republic.

Pezeshkian promised no radical changes to Iran’s Shiite theocracy in his campaign and long has held Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the final arbiter of all matters of state in the country.

He will also not lead change in Iran’s contentious relations with Israel, saying after he voted on Friday that should he win, he would “try to have friendly relations with all countries except Israel.”

But even Pezeshkian’s other modest aims will be challenged by an Iranian government still largely held by hard-liners.

A vote count offered by authorities put Pezeshkian as the winner with 16.3 million votes to Jalili’s 13.5 million in Friday’s election. Overall, Iran’s Interior Ministry said 30 million people voted in an election held without internationally recognized monitors.

Supporters of Pezeshkian, a heart surgeon and longtime lawmaker, entered the streets of Tehran and other cities before dawn to celebrate as his lead grew over Jalili, a hard-line former nuclear negotiator.

“Dear people of Iran, the elections are over and this is just the beginning of our cooperation,” Pezeshkian wrote on the social platform X, which is still banned in Iran. “The difficult path ahead will not be smooth except with your companionship, empathy and trust. I extend my hand to you and I swear on my honor that I will not leave you alone on this path. Do not leave me alone.”…

Pezeshkian’s victory also wasn’t a rout of Jalili, meaning he’ll have to carefully navigate Iran’s internal politics as the doctor has never held a sensitive, high-level security post….

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AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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