Skip to content

Masoud Pezeshkian: All about Iran’s new reformist Turkic president

Masoud Pezeshkian: All about Iran's new reformist Turkic president Masoud Pezeshkian, center, clenches his fist after casting his vote at a polling station in Shahr-e-Qods near Tehran, Iran, on Friday (AP Photo)
By Newsroom
Jul 6, 2024 8:16 AM

After the tragic death of Iran’s President Ibrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash, Iranians went to the polls on July 5 for the second round of the 14th Presidential Election.

The critical election was a contest between Turkish-origin reformist candidate and Tabriz MP Masoud Pezeshkian, and conservative candidate Saeed Jalili. The voting period, initially set to end at 8:00 p.m., was extended first to 10:00 p.m. and then to midnight.

First-round results, voter turnout

In the first round of the election on June 28, neither candidate surpassed the 50% threshold. Reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian led with 42.5% of the votes, while conservative Saeed Jalili garnered 38.6%.

The first round saw the lowest voter turnout in the country’s history at 40%. In the second round, voter turnout increased slightly to 49.8%.

Masoud Pezeshkian: All about Iran's new reformist Turkic president
An Iranian woman walks past a poster of a reformist candidate for the presidential election Masoud Pezeshkian, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, June 29, 2024. (AP Photo)

Pezeshkian becomes Iran’s 9th President

Masoud Pezeshkian, a reformist MP from Tabriz and former Health Minister, won the second round with 53.7% of the vote, becoming Iran’s 9th President. The announcement came from the Ministry of Interior’s Election Center spokesperson, Mohsen Islami, who reported that 30,530,157 votes were cast nationwide.

Pezeshkian received 16,384,403 votes, while Jalili received 13,538,179 votes, representing 44.4% of the total.

Who is Masoud Pezeshkian?

Born on September 29, 1954, in Mahabad to an Iranian, Turkish family, Masoud Pezeshkian has always expressed pride in his Turkish heritage. His surname, meaning “Doctors” in Persian, reflects his medical background.

He graduated from Tabriz University School of Medicine and served as both a combatant and doctor during the Iran-Iraq War from 1980 to 1988. Pezeshkian completed his general surgery residency at the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in 1993 and served as the university’s president from 1994 to 1999.

Masoud Pezeshkian: All about Iran's new reformist Turkic president
Supporters of the reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian hold up his posters during a campaign rally in Tehran, Iran, on Wednesday, July 3, 2024. (AP Photo)

Political career, reformist stance

Pezeshkian’s political career began in 1997 when he was appointed Deputy Health Minister by then-President Mohammad Khatami, later becoming Health Minister in 2001. He was elected as a Tabriz MP in 2008 and has held the position for five terms.

Known for his criticism of the government’s stance toward dissidents, Pezeshkian clashed with conservative MPs over the 2009 post-election protests and security forces’ actions.

Pezeshkian supported the nuclear deal and advocated for better relations with the West during his tenure as Deputy Speaker of the Iranian Parliament from 2016 to 2020. His candidacy for the 2021 presidential election was rejected by the Guardian Council, but he was re-elected as a Tabriz MP in the March 1 parliamentary elections.

Masoud Pezeshkian is the first reformist to be elected president of Iran since 2005.

Last Updated:  Jul 8, 2024 11:26 AM