For the first time in two decades, a moderate candidate has won Iran’s presidential elections.

Friday’s run-off elections saw a higher turnout than the initial presidential vote a week prior, with 49.8% of eligible voters casting their ballots, up from 40% in the first round. Masoud Pezeshkian emerged victorious after securing more than 53% of the vote, defeating hard-liner rival Saeed Jalili.

“I am the servant of the people of Iran. We will serve you, dear people of our country,” Pezeshkian said following his win. “Let’s come together, let’s stick together, let’s get united and work together. We would be able to deal with every aspect and area of the government: economic, financial, military, and social challenges.”

Pezeshkian ran on a platform of re-engaging with the West and easing the country’s economic woes. As Iran’s health minister under reformist President Mohammad Khatami between 2001 and 2005, Pezeshkian witnessed firsthand the obstacles posed to ease the country’s suffering. As president, he is likely to face similar challenges, particularly from Iran’s conservative parliament which remains loyal to its tyrant Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

During his campaign, Pezeshkian has been very careful not to cross Khamenei’s radical doctrine. He has refrained from calling for an end to Iran’s compulsory Hijab law and has publicly demonstrated his loyalty to the Supreme Leader, even donning the green uniform of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and praising slain commander Qassem Soleimani during his campaign, according to CNN.

Still, for voters, Pezeshkian was a far better choice than his opponent Jalili. As a hard-liner who lost a leg fighting with the IRGC in the 1980s war with Iraq, Jalili advocated for stricter penalties against women who fail to properly cover their hair and rejected calls to revive any diplomatic normalcy with the West.

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