Tuesday (June 22nd): Raisi’s election win in Iran!

Ebrahim Raisi

Name? Ebrahim Raisi

Westphalian identity? Iranian

Age? 60

Why is he in the news? Ayatollah Khameneis favourite Ebrahim Raisi won the Iranian Presidential elections last Sunday. Raisi is considered a hardliner and in line with Khamenei’s stance on religion and the enemy, the United States. 

Why do we care? As President, Raisi executes the country’s foreign policy, therefore, we care definitely. Furthermore, he wears a black turban identifying him in Shia tradition as a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, which boosts popularity in Iran. In 2019, he was appointed by Khamenei as Head of the Judiciary giving him significant influence in the country already. All these factors indicate that he could succeed Ayatollah Khamenei and become the real leader of Iran. 

Why should you care? He has significant influence over the future of the JCPOA and whether the US sanctions against Iran will be lifted any time soon. A hardline approach to the negotiations will make a positive outcome even more difficult. Furthermore, he is said to have taken part in the “death committee”  which oversaw secret death sentences for about 5,000 prisoners in jails in 1988. These prospects for a continued hardline approach to the foreign policy of Iran should make you care 6/10. 

Who else cares? Joe Biden, who is currently on his EuroTrip and has been proactively dumped by Raisi who made it very clear that he does not want to meet him. Negotiations between the US and Iran over the JCPOA will seemingly have to continue through backchannels and diplomats (Good for us!)

Any further comments? Raisi’s chances of becoming the next Iranian Supreme Leader are not the highest at the moment… He only won 62% of the votes in an election with participation lower than 50%. Depending on his performance in the next few years, the Assembly of Experts choosing the successor of Khamenei might look favourably upon Raisi, once again continuing Iran’s hardline legacy.

Joshua Dario Hasenstab

General Coordinator