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Masoud Pezeshkian, a reformist, narrowly won Iran’s presidential election against hardliner Saeed Jalili. Despite his victory, Pezeshkian’s ability to enact lasting reforms is limited by the clerics’ control. His candidacy suggests the regime recognizes public dissatisfaction, especially after the 2022 protests. However, the close race and significant support for Jalili highlight deep polarization. Widespread voter abstention, driven by boycotts and apathy, further complicates interpreting the election results.

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