July 7 (V7N)-  Masoud Pezeshkian, a former health minister and reformist leader, has been elected as Iran's ninth president. The 69-year-old defeated the conservative former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in a closely contested election.

Iran’s state media, Press TV, reported that Pezeshkian received 16,384,403 votes in the second round of elections held on Friday. His rival, Jalili, garnered 13,538,179 votes. Pezeshkian’s campaign, which emphasized women’s rights, social freedom, and economic reforms, resonated strongly with women voters in Iran.

Born on September 29, 1954, in Mahabad, Iran, Masoud Pezeshkian has a rich academic and political background:

He pursued his medical education at Tabriz Medical Science University, where he obtained his doctorate and specialist degrees in general surgery. He further specialized in cardiac surgery at Iran University of Medical Sciences in 1993.

Pezeshkian served as the head of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences for five years before entering politics.

His political journey began in 1997 as deputy health minister under President Mohammad Khatami. He later served as the Minister of Health from 2001 to 2005. Pezeshkian was elected to parliament five times from the Tabriz region and served as Deputy Speaker in the 10th National Assembly.

Pezeshkian’s presidential campaign focused on justice, unity, and coordination. Despite his reformist stance, analysts believe that significant changes in Iran's foreign policy are unlikely under his leadership, although there might be shifts in internal policies.

The early presidential election was held following the tragic death of President Ebrahim Raisi last May. Raisi, along with other high-ranking officials, died in a helicopter crash while traveling to Tabriz. The accident led to an early election, resulting in Pezeshkian’s victory.

After winning 53.6 percent of the vote, Pezeshkian addressed the people of Iran via social media, stating, "The difficult path ahead will not be smooth without your companionship, sympathy, and trust. I extend my hand to you."

Despite his reformist label, Pezeshkian's presidency is expected to bring cautious optimism regarding Iran's internal policy while maintaining continuity in foreign policy.