Supporters celebrate Raisi's victory as Iran's new president.

Supporters of Ebrahim Raisi, a hardline judge who is under U.S. sanctions for human rights abuses, celebrated on Saturday (June 19) after he became Iran's new president.

Waving flags and holding posters bearing his face, supporters gathered in Tehran's Imam Hossein Square to celebrate.

Raisi secured victory as expected in Iran's presidential election held on Friday (June 18) after a contest marked by voter apathy over economic hardships and political restrictions.

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 TV.

Turnout in Friday's four-man race was a record low of around 48.8% 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 U.S. 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 the 1988 and in the violent suppression of unrest in 2009.

Iran has never acknowledged the mass executions, and Raisi himself 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.

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.

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