Ebrahim Raisi, a hardline judge who is under US sanctions for human rights abuses, secured victory on Saturday in Iran’s presidential election.
With all 28.9 million ballots counted, Raisi was elected with a tally of 17.9 million, interior minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said on state television.
Turnout in Friday’s four-man race was a record low of about 48.8 per cent and there were 3.7 million invalid ballots that were likely to have been mostly blank or protest votes.
Appointed by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the high-profile job of judiciary chief in 2019, Raisi was placed under US sanctions a few months later over human rights violations.
Those included the role that human rights group say Raisi played in the executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 and in the violent suppression of unrest in 2009.
Iran has never acknowledged the mass executions, and Raisi has never publicly addressed allegations about his role.
Seen by analysts and insiders as representing the security establishment at its most fearsome, Raisi (60) had been widely tipped to win the contest, thanks to Khamenei’s endorsement.
Outgoing president Hassan Rouhani, barred by the constitution from seeking a third term, visited Raisi at his office to congratulate him, and foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he would lead Iran well.
Raisi, who takes office in early August, said he will be a president for all Iranians – whether they voted for him or for the other candidates, or did not vote at all.
Iran and six world powers have been negotiating in Vienna since April to work out steps for Washington and Tehran to take.
The United States withdrew in 2018 from the pact, under which Iran accepted curbs on its nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of many foreign sanctions against it.
Sunday’s formal meeting comes more than a week after this round of talks resumed and is an indication that the talks are likely to be adjourned. Officials over the week have indicated that differences remain on key issues. – Reuters
Nadine Lott told ex-partner who later killed her not to ‘threaten’ her, court hears
Nadine Lott told her former partner not to “threaten” her two weeks before he killed her, the Central Criminal Court has heard.
The jury in the trial of Daniel Murtagh was given transcripts on Tuesday of WhatsApp messages between the accused and his ex-girlfriend in the days and weeks leading up to her death.
In them, the accused asks her if she is “seeing someone from Dublin”. In reply, Ms Lott tells him she is not seeing anyone. Mr Murtagh asks her if there was a “Dublin lad” in her “place” and she tells him to “leave it out”.
She tells him that “nothing is ever going to happen between us again, I want to make that clear.”
In another text from December 5th the accused said: “Nadine I worry about ye, not in love, just don’t slip”.
She replied: “Don’t threaten me either”.
Evidence has previously been given that Mr Murtagh told a motorist that he had “killed my wife because she was with my friend”, just hours after he assaulted her.
John Begley testified last week that he saw a car in a ditch as he was travelling over Bookies Bridge in Laragh on the morning of December 14th and then came across the accused man standing at the side of the road.
“Daniel said to me ‘you don’t know what I’ve done”. I said what did you do. He said ‘I killed my wife’. I didn’t think anything of it. He said it a second time and said he hoped she was not dead. He said ‘she was with my friend’,” said Mr Begley.
Mr Murtagh (34), of Melrose Grove, Bawnogue, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of his 30-year-old ex-partner Ms Lott at her apartment in St Mary’s Court, Arklow, Co Wicklow on December 17th, 2019.
The jury has heard that Ms Lott suffered “severe blunt force trauma” and stab injuries at the hands of her former partner “in a sustained and violent attack” in her Arklow home.
They have heard evidence that the injuries to Ms Lott were so serious that she never regained consciousness and died three days later in St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin.
An intensive care nurse at the hospital has told the jury that Ms Lott was “completely unrecognisable” and that she had never seen anybody so badly injured. A paramedic who attended to Ms Lott at her home told the jury that the call will “haunt” him for the rest of his career and was one of the most “horrendous scenes” he had ever walked into. The garda who telephoned ambulance control informed them that Ms Lott had been “beaten to a pulp”.
The trial continues before Mr Justice Michael MacGrath and a jury of seven men and five women.
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Vaccines go into the arm, but also into the brain. They are a kind of probe sent into the national consciousness. In Ireland’s case, the probe has discovered exciting evidence of intelligent life.
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