Regional leaders congratulate Raisi on election win

Regional leaders congratulate Iran's Raisi on election win
3 min read
20 June, 2021
Neighbours of Iran yesterday sent congratulatory messages president-elect Ebrahim Raisi, among them leaders from Turkey, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Iraq.
Ebrahim Raisi won a landslide victory in Iran's presidential election on June 18 [Getty]

Leaders across the Arab world on Saturday congratulated hardliner Iranian cleric Ebrahim Raisi for his victory in a presidential election that has drawn strong international criticism and recorded the lowest turnout in the Islamic republic's history.

Iraqi President Barham Salih sent a congratulatory message to the elected Iranian President, wishing "success in your mission in serving the dear Iranian people and achieving more progress and prosperity".

Salih said the region desperately needs "wisdom" and the "language of dialogue" to prevail in order to establish security, stability and peace.

He added that Iraq looks forward to strengthening its ties with Iraq on security matters.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has an important role in standing by the Iraqis in the fight against terrorism and extremism," he said.

The Palestinian Islamist organisation Hamas congratulated the ultraconservative cleric and said it would "ask God to grant him success in realising the aspirations of his people towards further development".

The group also said it hoped Raisi would stand "in solidarity with Palestine and its just cause".

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The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, sent a cable congratulating the Iranian President, the Emirates news agency WAM reported.

In Doha, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, sent a cable to wish Raisi "good luck” and to express his desire to further develop the relations between their countries.

The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and the Sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tariq, also sent cables to congratulate Raisi, according to news agencies in the two countries.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed the outcome of the vote, held on Friday, saying he wished for cooperation between the two neighbours to strengthen during his term.

Erdogan said he will be pleased to visit Iran for the forthcoming meeting of the High-Level Cooperation Council, which was last held remotely in September 2020, once the Covid-19 pandemic ends.

According to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Erdogan expressed his readiness to work with his new Iranian counterpart and expressed hope that Raisi’s leadership will lead to a more prosperous Iran.

Meanwhile, Israel expressed concern at the election of the hardliner. Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Hayat wrote on Twitter that Raisi is "the most extreme Iranian president to date."

Iran’s new president, known as the Butcher of Tehran, is an extremist responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iranians. He is committed to the regime’s nuclear ambitions and to its campaign of global terror. https://t.co/tb2xg5plwD

— יאיר לפיד - Yair Lapid🟠 (@yairlapid) June 19, 2021

Hayat added that Raisi was "committed to rapid progress in Iran's military nuclear programme," which Israel does not believe will be purely peaceful.

Raisi, a judiciary chief who was sanctioned by the United States over human rights abuses, won 61.95 percent of the vote on a turnout of 48.8 percent.

Amnesty International has condemned the election, calling for an investigation into "crimes against humanity" and "violent repression" of human rights during extrajudicial executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.

Raisi has denied his involvement in these executions. He is set to take office in August, replacing moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who was not allowed by the constitution to run for a third consecutive term.