The ultra-conservative Ebrahim Raisi will be the new president of Iran

The ultra-conservative Ebrahim Raisi will be the new president of Iran
The ultra-conservative Ebrahim Raisi will be the new president of Iran

The presidential elections in Iran were won by Ebrahim Raisi, currently head of Iran’s judicial system and an expression of the ultra-conservatives. The Interior Ministry said that with about 90% of the votes counted, Ebrahim Raisi got 17.8 million preferences, 62% of the total, while Mohsen Rezaie got 3.3 million votes, Abdolnasser Hemmati 2, 4 million and Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi 1 million. Turnout was around 48%, with 28.6 million votes out of around 59 million voters: in the 2020 parliamentary elections it was 42%.

Even before the partial results were announced, Raisi’s victory had been announced by his main opponent, Abdolnasser Hemmati, a former director of the central bank and the only moderate candidate, who

with a message on social networks: “I hope that your administration provides reasons for pride for the Islamic Republic of Iran, that it improves the economy and that it can give a life of well-being to the great nation of Iran.” The former commander of the Revolutionary Guard, Mohsen Rezaei, had also congratulated Raisi.

Raisi’s victory was almost taken for granted, especially after the Guardian Council, the body that arbitrarily takes care of selecting candidates before each election, very close to conservatives and ultra-conservatives, had excluded the most important at the end of May. reformist and moderate politicians who had asked to be part of the lists of candidates, especially the deputy of the outgoing president Hassan Rouhani, Eshaq Jahangiri.

After eight years of Rouhani presidency, the Iranian administration will therefore almost certainly move to the right, making the already fragile relationship with Western countries, and especially with the United States, much more complicated. The exclusions of moderate candidates were the latest consequence of a political process underway for some time in Iran, which began with the decision taken in 2018 by the then US President Donald Trump to withdraw the United States from the agreement that committed Iran. the exclusively civil use of nuclear energy, effectively burying it.

Already then many experts and observers had warned about the risk that that decision could weaken those in Iran who had strongly wanted the agreement – the moderates of Rouhani, the most open to dialogue with the West – and strengthen those who had always instead criticized, that is, the ultraconservatives.

Raisi is very conservative and was the preferred candidate of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the absolute leader of Iran and representative of the most radical faction of the regime, of which he is also credited as a potential successor. Raisi has a rather controversial past: in 1988, at the end of the war that Iran was fighting against Iraq, he was part of one of the so-called “death commissions” which ordered mass executions of thousands of political prisoners and enemy combatants.

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