Iranian cleric Raisi's poll win draws mixed reactions

Iranian cleric Raisi's poll win draws mixed reactions
2 min read
19 June, 2021
World leaders and rights organisations have reacted differently to the results of the Iranian presidential elections.
Raisi won the vote on Saturday [Getty]

Hardliner Iranian cleric Ebrahim Raisi's victory on Saturday in a presidential election has drawn mixed reactions, with Russia hailing it as a sign of greater regional stability but others decrying it as a farce.

Russia 

"Relations between our countries have been traditionally friendly," Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a message, saying Raisi's election would help develop "constructive bilateral cooperation in many fields and our partnership in international affairs".

"This responds entirely to the interests of the Russian and Iranian people and goes towards reinforcing regional stability and security," he said.

Syria

President Bashir al-Assad sent his "warmest congratulations" and wished Raisi "success in his new responsibilities ... and steering the country in the face of external pressure."

Hamas 

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said the Palestinian Islamist movement "congratulates" Raisi, adding: "Iran has always been a main, strong and real supporter of the Palestinian resistance and our national cause."

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Turkey 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan congratulated Raisi, expressing the hope it would be beneficial for the Iranian people.

Erdogan said he believed "cooperation between our two countries would be strengthened further" and added that he was ready to work with Raisi.

Iranian opposition

Exiled opposition groups hailed what they termed a "boycott" of the presidential polls, where turnout was 48.8 percent.

Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said the "unprecedented nationwide boycott" had signalled that Iranians had "voted for overthrow of the ruling theocracy".

The NCRI, in accusations backed by leading human rights groups, says Raisi was part of a commission that sent thousands of jailed opponents to their deaths within a few months in the summer of 1988.

"There is no longer any justification for the international community to deal with, engage, or appease a regime whose president is a notorious criminal against humanity," said Rajavi.

UAE 

The UAE leaders all sent congratulatory messages to Raisi, the government said.

Amnesty International 

"That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture, is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran," Amnesty said.

It called on the UN Human Rights Council's member states to take "concrete steps to address the crisis of systematic impunity in Iran".

Amnesty said they should establish "an impartial mechanism to collect and analyse evidence of the most serious crimes under international law committed in Iran to facilitate fair and independent criminal proceedings".