Iranian reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian speaks during his campaign rally, two days before a presidential election runoff following a first round marked by a historically low turnout, at a stadium in Tehran on July 3, 2024 Image Credit: AFP

Iran's reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian on Saturday won a runoff presidential election against Saeed Jalili, state media reported.

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Officials have so far counted more than 30 million votes, out of which Pezeshkian garnered over 16 million and Jalili more than 13 million, according to results released by the interior ministry.

The election, called early after the death of ultraconservative president Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash, followed a first round marked by a historically low turnout last week.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who wields ultimate authority, had called for a higher turnout in the runoff, emphasising the importance of the election.

He said the first round turnout was lower than expected, but added that it was not an act "against the system".

The ballot comes against a backdrop of heightened regional tensions over the Gaza war, a dispute with the West over Iran's nuclear programme, and domestic discontent over the state of Iran's sanctions-hit economy.