Amid low turnout, hardliner Ebrahim Raisi wins Iran’s presidential election

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TEHRAN: Iran elected hardliner Ebrahim Raisi as its next President on Saturday. With the lowest turnout since the 1979 elections, people expressed disappointment about the limited field of contestants.

Raisi is sanctioned for human rights abuses by the US, but has the ears of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who favoured him among four hardliners and one moderate. He had lost to the present Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, a moderate, in the previous presidential poll.

Raisi’s election means Tehran will push for the nuclear deal that will loosen US and UN sanctions and help it earn revenues by selling oil to old customers India, South Korea, Japan and China. But as a hardliner, Raisi will consolidate Khamenei’s endeavour not to provide the West with any further concessions, especially withdrawing support to militancy in Lebanon, Gaza, Yemen and Iraq.

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