PM Imran felicitates newly elected Iran president Ebrahim Raisi

Premier says he looks forward to strengthened ties with Iran for regional peace, progress and prosperity


News Desk June 19, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing the 26th International Conference on the Future of Asia in Japan via video link. SCREENGRAB

ISLAMABAD:

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday congratulated Ebrahim Raisi on being elected as the president of the Islamic republic of Iran.

"Congratulations to Excellency brother Ibrahim Raisi @raisi_com on his landmark victory in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s 13th Presidential elections," the premier said on Twitter.

"Look forward to working with him for further strengthening of our fraternal ties and for regional peace, progress and prosperity," he added.

Messages congratulating Raisi poured in after he won Iran's presidential election as his rivals conceded even before official results were announced.

The other three candidates in the race congratulated him for his victory, which had been widely expected after a host of heavyweight rivals had been barred from running.

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“I congratulate the people on their choice,” said outgoing moderate President Hassan Rouhani without naming Raisi. “My official congratulations will come later, but we know who got enough votes in this election and who is elected today by the people.”

The other two ultraconservative candidates — Mohsen Rezai and Amirhossein Qazizadeh Hashemi — explicitly congratulated Raisi, as did the only reformist in the race, former central bank governor Abdolnasser Hemmati.

Raisi, 60, takes over from Rouhani in August as Iran seeks to salvage its tattered nuclear deal with major powers and free itself from punishing US sanctions that have driven a sharp economic downturn.

Many voters chose to stay away after the field of some 600 hopefuls, including 40 women, had been winnowed down to seven candidates, all men, excluding an ex-president and a former parliament speaker.

Three of the vetted candidates dropped out of the race two days before Friday's election and two of them quickly threw their support behind Raisi.

Populist former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, one of those who were barred from running by the Guardian Council of clerics and jurists, said he would not vote, declaring in a video message that “I do not want to have a part in this sin.”

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