Who is Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian president close to supreme leader?

Time Of Info By TOI Desk Report   May 20, 2024   Update on : May 20, 2024

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Photo: Screengrab/file

Iran’s ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi has long been seen as a protégé to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and a potential successor for his position within the country’s Shiite theocracy.

News of his helicopter crash on Sunday immediately brought the leader to the limelight yet again, who already faces sanctions from the US and other countries for his involvement in the mass execution of prisoners in 1988, reports AP.

Raisi, 63, earlier operated ran Iran’s judiciary. He unsuccessfully ran for president in 2017 against Hassan Rouhani, the relatively moderate cleric who reached Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers as president.

In 2021, Raisi ran once again in a presidential election that saw all of his potentially prominent opponents barred for running under Iran’s vetting system. He swept to victory with 62% of the 28.9 million votes, the lowest turnout by percentage in the Islamic Republic’s history. Millions stayed home while others voted blank ballots.

Raisi was defiant when he was asked about the 1988 executions at a news conference after his election, which saw sham retrials of political prisoners, militants, and others that were called “death commissions” once the bloody Iran-Iraq war came to an end.

Iran is ultimately run by Khamenei, its 85-year-old supreme leader. However, as president, Raisi supported the country’s enrichment of uranium up to near-weapons-grade levels, as well as it hampering international inspectors as a part of its confrontation with the West.


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