US expects no ‘fundamental change’ after Iran presidential election

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The United States said Monday it expected no “fundamental change” from Iran no matter who wins the presidential election runoff and said it did not consider the first round free and fair.

Masoud Pezeshkian, billed as a reformist within the cleric-led Islamic Republic, placed first in the election and will go to a runoff Friday against ultraconservative Saeed Jalili.

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“These elections in Iran are not free and fair,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters.

“We have no expectation that these elections, and whatever the outcome might be, will lead to a fundamental change in Iran’s direction or lead the Iranian regime to offer more respect for human rights and more dignity for its citizens.”

Patel also cast doubt on the official figures on turnout, which were already low.

“Even the Iranian government’s official numbers about turnout, like most other things as it relates to the Iranian regime, are unreliable,” he said.

Iranian authorities said that slightly more than 40 percent of the 61 million electorate took part – a record low turnout for the Islamic Republic – and more than one million ballots were spoiled.

The poll had been scheduled to take place in 2025 but was brought forward by the death of ultraconservative president Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash.

Read more:

Who are Masoud Pezeshkian and Saeed Jalili, Iran’s presidential contenders?

Polls close in Iran after election to replace president killed in helicopter crash

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