Iran to hold presidential run-off after no candidate wins majority in 1st round

Iranian voters are expected to choose a new president in a run-off election next week as no candidate secured a majority in Friday's election.

The second round will be held on July 5 between the sole reformist candidate, Masoud Pezeshkian, and hardline conservative Saeed Jalili. The focus will be on whether Iran should maintain its hardline foreign policy.

Pezeshkian is willing to have talks with Western leaders, while Jalili is not hesitant about confronting the West.

Voters are picking a successor to President Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash in May.

Election results released by the interior ministry on Saturday show reformist Pezeshkian, who previously served as deputy parliamentary speaker and health minister, winning more than 10.41 million, or over 40 percent of the vote.

Jalili, who previously served as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, a body in charge of national defense and foreign affairs, obtained 9.47 million votes.

The other hardliner, parliamentary speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, garnered 3.38 million.

The two hardliners shared conservative votes while Pezeshkian likely won over voters who are unhappy with hardline conservative policies.

Attention is focused on whether the new president will maintain the current hardline foreign policy or make a policy shift and try to improve relations with Western nations.