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PM Modi congratulates Iran’s new president Ebrahim Raisi

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated Iran’s new president Ebrahim Raisi and said that he looked forward to work with him to strengthen diplomatic ties between the two countries.

“Congratulations to Ebrahim Raisi on his election as President of Iran. I look forward to working with him to further strengthen the warm ties between India and Iran,” Modi said in a Twitter post.

Raisi, the 60-year-old hardliner judge described as an “ultraconservative champion of the poor”, was named the winner of the Islamic republic’s presidential election on Saturday.

The Iranian interior ministry said on Saturday that Raisi won 61.95% of the votes. The country recorded a voter turnout of 48.8%—the lowest in a presidential election since the 1979 revolution.

Raisi will be succeeding Hassan Rouhani, who is seen as a moderate, in August. According to news reports, critics of Raisi say that the election was skewed in his favour as strong rivals were disqualified. But Raisi’s supporters see him as Iran’s best hope for standing up to the West and bringing relief from a deep economic crisis. As head of the judiciary, Raisi had driven a popular campaign to prosecute corrupt officials.

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