Iran’s presidential election heads to a runoff after reformist wins most votes

Iran’s presidential election heads to a runoff after reformist wins most votes

Iran’s Presidential Election Heads to a Runoff After Reformist Wins Most Votes

Iran’s presidential election


has taken an unexpected turn as the reformist candidate, Ebrahim Raisi, has secured the most votes in the first round but failed to garner a clear majority. This means that the election is now heading towards a runoff, scheduled for

June 19

, between Raisi and the second place candidate.

The first round of the election, held on

June 18, 2021

, saw a record low turnout with only around


of eligible voters casting their ballots. Despite the low turnout, Raisi managed to secure approximately

15.9 million votes

, or about


of the total votes, while his closest competitor, Abdolnaser Hemmati, received around

10.9 million votes

, or about



The runoff between Raisi and Hemmati will be closely watched both domestically and internationally. The outcome of the election is expected to have significant implications for Iran’s domestic politics as well as its relations with the rest of the world, particularly regarding the nuclear deal and the country’s contentious human rights record.

I. Introduction

Iran’s political system, based on the 1979 Constitution, is a theocratic republic where both the Supreme Leader and the president hold significant power. The president is responsible for implementing policies, managing the economy, and foreign affairs. However, the Supreme Leader, as the ultimate authority in religious and political matters, holds veto power over all presidential decrees and appointments. The significance of the presidential election in Iran lies in its potential to shape domestic policies, international relations, and power dynamics within the political establishment.

The June 2021 Presidential Election

The presidential election held on June 18, 2021, saw six candidates competing for the presidency. However, none of them managed to secure over 50% of the votes. This unexpected result led to a runoff election between the top two candidates, Ebrahim Raisi and Abdolnaser Hemmati.

Implications for Iran’s Domestic Politics

The runoff result has significant implications for Iran’s domestic politics. The political landscape was marked by a low voter turnout, indicating a growing disillusionment with the current political establishment. Moreover, the unexpected runoff outcome may lead to increased public scrutiny of both candidates and their respective agendas.

Implications for Iran’s International Politics

At the international level, the runoff result could impact Iran’s relations with regional and global powers. The international community is closely watching the election results to gauge whether there will be any changes in Iran’s foreign policy, particularly regarding nuclear negotiations and its involvement in regional conflicts.

Understanding the Context

It is crucial to understand the context and implications of this development for Iran’s domestic and international politics. The runoff outcome underscores the complexity of Iran’s political system and the challenges facing its leadership in navigating both internal dissent and external pressures. As Iran moves towards a new presidential term, close attention will be paid to how the new administration manages these challenges and shapes Iran’s future trajectory.

Iran’s presidential election heads to a runoff after reformist wins most votes

Background of the Election

Political Landscape in Iran: The political landscape in Iran leading up to the presidential election of 2017 was marked by significant economic and social challenges. The incumbent president, Hassan Rouhani, had come to power in 2013 on a platform of economic and political reforms. However, his administration faced numerous challenges, including the lingering effects of international sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program, low oil prices, and high unemployment rates. Rouhani had managed to secure a historic nuclear deal with world powers in 2015, but the economic benefits had not yet fully materialized.

Key Candidates and Political Platforms: Several key candidates emerged in the election, with a particular focus on the reformist camp led by Ebrahim Raisi. A relative political newcomer, Raisi had previously served as the Head of the Astan Quds Razavi Foundation, a large charitable organization in Mashhad. His campaign promises centered around economic development, social justice, and foreign policy shifts.

Overview of Raisi’s Background:

Raisi, born in 1960, came from a modest background and had worked as a teacher and cleric before entering politics. He gained national attention when he served on the chamber of experts, Iran’s legislative body responsible for electing the country’s clerical leaders. Raisi’s reputation as a pragmatic and competent administrator grew during his time as the head of Astan Quds Razavi, where he oversaw significant economic development projects.

Explanation of His Campaign Promises:

Raisi’s campaign promises included ambitious plans to tackle Iran’s economic challenges, such as increasing production capacity and creating jobs. He also pledged to address social inequalities by focusing on education and healthcare. In terms of foreign policy, Raisi advocated for a more assertive stance towards regional tensions, particularly with neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel.

External Factors Shaping the Election Dynamics:

External factors, including international sanctions and regional tensions, played a significant role in shaping the dynamics of the election. Despite the nuclear deal, many international sanctions remained in place, limiting Iran’s access to global markets and investors. The ongoing conflict in Syria, as well as tensions with Saudi Arabia and Israel, added to the complex geopolitical landscape in which the election took place. These external pressures put additional pressure on candidates to offer solutions for improving Iran’s economic and diplomatic standing on the global stage.

Iran’s presidential election heads to a runoff after reformist wins most votes

I The Election Results and Their Significance

Detailed breakdown of the election results

The Iranian presidential elections held on June 18, 2021, saw a turnout rate of approximately 48.8%, with five candidates vying for the position. The incumbent President Hassan Rouhani secured a mere 16.5% of the votes, while the leading contender was Ebrahim Raisi, who garnered an impressive 61.9% of the votes. The remaining candidates, Mohsen Mehralizadeh, Abdolnaser Hemmati, and Amirhossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, obtained less than 6% of the votes collectively.

Discussion of the implications of a runoff for Iran’s political landscape

The fact that no candidate secured an outright majority in the initial election results necessitates a runoff between the top two contenders, Raisi and Rouhani. This political development carries significant implications for Iran’s domestic and foreign landscape.

Possible scenarios for the runoff

One potential scenario is that voter turnout increases in the runoff, as those who abstained from voting initially may feel compelled to participate due to the significance of the election. Another possibility is that campaign strategies shift, with candidates focusing on specific demographics or regions to secure their victory. The influence of external factors, such as foreign intervention, cannot be ruled out either.

Analysis of a Raisi victory

Should Raisi emerge as the victor, his domestic policies are expected to differ significantly from those of Rouhani. In terms of economic development, Raisi’s focus on reducing poverty and inequality could lead to increased government spending on social welfare programs. However, his stance on economic liberalization is unclear, which may impact investors’ confidence in Iran’s economy. In the areas of social justice, Raisi has expressed his commitment to addressing income inequality and improving access to education and healthcare for all Iranians.

Impact on international standing

The potential repercussions of a Raisi presidency extend beyond Iran’s borders. Depending on his approach to foreign relations, Iran’s international standing may change significantly. If Raisi pursues a more confrontational stance towards major powers such as the United States and Europe, it could lead to increased tension in the region. Alternatively, if he adopts a more conciliatory tone, there may be opportunities for diplomacy and negotiations.

Iran’s presidential election heads to a runoff after reformist wins most votes


Recap of the Main Points

This article has explored the significance of Iran’s presidential election, which took place on June 18, 202We have discussed the context of this election, including the role of Iran’s Guardian Council in filtering candidates and the impact of economic pressures on voter turnout. We have also examined the profiles of the leading contenders, with a focus on Ebrahim Raisi and his potential presidency.

Call for Continued Monitoring and Analysis

Despite the outcome of this election, it is essential to recognize that a Raisi presidency would represent only one chapter in the ongoing story of Iran’s evolving political landscape. As such, it is crucial to continue monitoring and analyzing Iranian politics closely. The domestic challenges facing Iran, including economic hardships and social unrest, will undoubtedly persist regardless of who occupies the presidency. Moreover, Iran’s international relations with countries such as the United States and its regional neighbors will continue to shape the country’s political dynamics.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the complexities of Iranian politics is vital not only for those directly engaged with the country but also for the wider Middle East and global community. As the world’s fourth-largest oil producer, Iran plays a pivotal role in regional stability and international energy markets. Moreover, its nuclear program and controversial actions concerning Israel and the United States have significant implications for global security. Therefore, it is essential to stay informed about political developments in Iran and their potential repercussions on the world stage.