Over seven in 10 Iranian adults have approved of President Ebrahim Raeisi’s job performance shortly after he took office from his predecessor amid the pandemic-induced health crisis and various challenges in the country, according to a new Gallup poll.
The poll published by the American research company on Thursday said 72% of Iranians expressed approval of the job Raeisi is doing just three weeks after taking office in August, a sharp increase from 32% approval for former President Hassan Rouhani in 2020.
Gallup said the low rate of approval during Rouhani's presidency was due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Iran and his government's poor response to and mismanagement of the pandemic.
The findings of the survey, conducted between August 24 and 31, came as Gallup said the US and Western media had labeled Raeisi as a hard-line conservative cleric, contrasting with Rouhani who was said to be a moderate figure.
“Despite his characterization as a moderate, Rouhani never received majority-level job approval in any of Gallup's readings during his presidency,” the poll said.
Iranian confidence in government rises after Raeisi
Moreover, the results of the Gallup poll showed that 59% of Iranians have confidence in their national government, declining from 52% in July 2019 to 47% in August 2020 and falling further to 41% in November.
The 41% registered during Rouhani’s tenure was the lowest level of confidence recorded in Gallup's trend.
The US research firm also attributed the drop in Iranians' confidence in their national government to the poorly-rated government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Raeisi articulated a plan to tackle the pandemic, focusing on increasing COVID-19 vaccination throughout the country,” Gallup said.
“Prior to Raeisi's election in June, about 5% of the Iranian population was at least partly vaccinated; since then, the percentage of vaccinated Iranians has risen to nearly 50%. The increase in availability of vaccines from non-Western sources and the new administration's emphasis on taking action on the pandemic likely contributed to the spike in Iranians' confidence in their national government, which jumped to 62% shortly after Raisi entered office,” it added.
Raeisi, the eighth president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, won almost 62 percent of the votes in the June 18 presidential election and succeed Rouhani, who served two four-year terms in office.
The election was held amid an ear-splitting political and media campaign by the United States as well as its Western and regional allies trying to portray the vote as “undemocratic.”
He campaigned with the slogan “Popular Administration, Strong Iran” on a platform of uprooting corruption in the executive branch, fighting poverty, creating jobs, containing inflation, and corruption.