Regional leaders congratulate Iran's Ebrahim Raisi following election win

Iran’s neighbours have joined Russia in sending messages of congratulations

Iranian ultraconservative cleric and presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi gives a news conference after voting in the presidential election, at a polling station in the capital Tehran, on June 18, 2021. Raisi won 62 percent of the vote counted so far in a presidential election, officials said today after his rivals conceded defeat.  / AFP / ATTA KENARE

Neighbours of Iran yesterday sent congratulatory messages president-elect Ebrahim Raisi, among them President Sheikh Khalifa, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

“We wish for the Islamic Republic, and for our bilateral relations, stability, continuity and prosperity,” read a statement tweeted by Dubai’s media office.

Oman’s ruler Haitham bin Tariq Al Said also congratulated Mr Raisi on his victory, Oman’s state news agency ONA reported.

Kuwait’s emir Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah sent a message “wishing him further success and wellness, as well as the friendly Islamic Republic to further progress and prosper”, its Kuna state news agency said.

Iraq's President Barham Salih extended "sincere congratulations and blessings on the occasion of your election as President of the Islamic Republic of Iran ... We in Iraq look forward to strengthening our solid relations with our neighbour Iran and its people."

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syria’s Bashar Al Assad were among other regional leaders to congratulate Mr Raisi.

In a letter, Mr Erdogan said he was ready to work together and was looking forward to visiting Iran after the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr Assad said he was keen that Syria-Iran relations could be strengthened.

A statement from the Syrian presidency’s office said Mr Raisi’s election win would be “for the good and interest of the steadfast Iranian people.”

Syria’s long term ally Russia also congratulated Mr Raisi. State-owned RIA news agency agency quoted President Vladimir Putin as congratulating Mr Raisi, adding that he was hopeful of “further development of a constructive bilateral co-operation”.

“This fully meets the interests of the Russian and Iranian peoples, goes in line with the strengthening of regional security and stability,” Mr Putin said, according to the Kremlin.

Mr Raisi is an ally of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds ultimate power in Iran.

He has voiced support for continuing the nuclear negotiations, the first challenge he will be dealing with upon taking office.

The nuclear deal, technically called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that came into effect in 2015, was negotiated by the administration of former US president Barack Obama. Under the deal, UN nuclear inspectors would be allowed access to Iranian nuclear plants in exchange for sanctions relief.

The arrangement all but came apart in 2018 when former US president Donald Trump said that Iran was flouting the terms of the deal.

Washington is engaged in talks with Iran involving France, Germany, the UK, China and Russia, in the hope of reviving a new deal.

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