TEHRAN -- Iranian Foreign
Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian on Wednesday congratulated the people of Colombia on their participation in the presidential election in a democratic process and Gustavo Petro on his election victory.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran, in greeting and congratulating the people of Colombia for participating in the presidential elections in a free and democratic environment, congratulates the victory of Mr. Gustavo Petro as President-Elect and wishes success for him and the people of Colombia, on the path of development and well-being,” Amir-Abdollahian said in a post on his Twitter account.
Petro, a former rebel fighter who has promised profound social and economic change, emerged victorious in Sunday’s presidential runoff election to become Colombia’s first left-wing president.
He won 50.4 percent of the vote, while his rival Rodolfo Hernandez, a construction magnate, had 47.3 percent.
The win for Petro, a senator and a former mayor of Bogota, underlined a drastic change in presidential politics for a country that has long marginalized the left for its perceived association with the armed conflict. Petro himself was once a rebel with the now-defunct M-19 movement and was granted amnesty after being jailed for his involvement with the group.
In his victory speech, Petro, 62, issued a call for unity and extended an olive branch to some of his harshest critics, saying all members of the opposition will be welcomed at the presidential palace “to discuss the problems of Colombia”.
Petro is on record to have praised Iran’s Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani for his anti-terror efforts, while berating the United States for his assassination and supporting “the worst of the Middle East.”
“Soleimani was the architect of the defeat of ISIS (Daesh),” the Colombian president-elect tweeted in January 2020.
Petro also credited General Soleimani for ”achieving victory over a great enemy of democracy.”
The U.S., however, showed its appreciation of Soleimani’s counter-terrorism genius and success “by assassinating him,” the tweet read.
“The U.S. only strengthens the worst of the Middle East,” concluded Petro, who won Colombia’s presidency during run-off elections on Sunday.