Seyyed Ebrahim Ra'isi
Ultraconservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi has been elected Iran's new president with more than 61.95 percent of the vote on 18 June 2021. Raisi unsuccessfully challenged moderate reformist President Hassan Rouhani in the 2017 elections but proved victorious this time, with Rouhani ineligible to run for a third term. Raisi is a trusted confidant of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who was one of his seminary instructors. Raisi is not an ayatollah but a Hujjat al-Islam, a lower rank of the Shiite clergy, and is also a sayyid Ė considered a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed in Shiite Islam. This entitles him to wear the black turban, a distinction among the pious.
Ebrahim Raisi is one of the most notorious figures in Iran today. In his role in the judiciary over the past three decades, he has been responsible tor some of the regime's most important atrocities. From his service on the "death commission" of the 1980s to his active role in repression of the Green Movement in 2009, he is an unsavory figure much detested by the public. A religious judge who helped condemn liberals and political opponents to death in mass executions in the late 1980s, Raisi is thought to be regarded highly by Iranís highest political, military, and religious authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The Islamic Republic has only had one leadership transition Ė when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini died in 1989. At the time, Khamenei was elevated from the presidency to the supreme leadership. Thus, if Raisi were to ascend to the presidency, he would be following the precedent that was set in 1989,Ē said Brodsky. A Raisi win in 2021 would also allow him to compensate for a quality he lacked while serving merely as judiciary chief Ė the ability to achieve success in Iranís electoral system. This is something Khamenei had in 1989, and the ground is being laid for Raisi to be able to claim the same quality.
By disqualifying many prominent moderates and reformers, Iran's ruling clerics paved the way for hard-line judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi to succeed President Hassan Rohani in the upcoming presidential vote. Rohani was constitutionally barred from seeking a third term. The somewhat surprising decision by the Guardians Council to severely limit the voters' choices for president suggests the establishment is determined to guarantee a win for Raisi, who has also been tipped as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is 82 years old. The other six candidatesí chances of becoming president are virtually non-existent, and some of them are even expected to pull out of the race in favor of Raisi before the elections. Consequently, a Raisi presidency is all but certain.
Most notably not on the list of seven presidential candidates approved by the powerful Guardians Council was the man many think would be Raisi's most serious rival -- former parliament speaker Ali Larijani. Well known in Iran, Larijani had held several key posts in government.
Raisi was defeated in the 2017 election in which many people say they voted for Rohani in order to prevent the cleric -- who is linked to the horrific 1980s massacre of thousands of political prisoners -- from becoming president.
A series of polls of Iranian public opinion were conducted in mid-2019 by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland and IranPoll, a Toronto-based body, which have done numerous similar studies in the past. Qasem Suleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds Force, was at 81% popularity (nearly 59% of respondents strongly support him). Raisi, who lost to Rouhani in the 2017 elections and was head of the judiciary and a possible successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, exceeded Rouhani in popularity according to the new polls, with nearly 64% approval and 28% strong approval.
In March 2019, he was appointed head of the Iranian Judicial Authority. This was another influential appointment for Raisi, who was entrusted by Khamenei with the task of aggressively fighting "corruption". Khamenei's loyal soldier, Raisi has multiplied the number of widely publicised corruption trials since he took office. He has targeted state dignitaries and also, in a new development, judges.
These trials have enabled him to oust some major political opponents, such as his predecessor at the head of the judiciary, Sadeq Larijani, whose close adviser was involved in one of these corruption scandals. Larijani is also the brother of Ali Larijani, whose own candidacy for the presidential elections was banned by the Guardian Council, probably as a result of this family affair. Raisi has made the fight against corruption one of his central campaign slogans. In a statement, he presented himself as "the opponent of corruption, inefficiency and aristocracy" and promised to fight relentlessly "against poverty" if elected President.
On 04 November 2019 the US Department of the Treasuryís Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today against Iranís Armed Forces General Staff and nine individuals who are appointees of, or have acted for or on behalf of, Ali Khamenei, the Iranian regimeís unelected Supreme Leader whose office is responsible for advancing Iranís radical agenda. All property and interests in property of these persons that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. OFACís regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.
OFAC designated Ebrahim Raisi, the head of Iranís Judiciary, who was appointed by the Supreme Leader in March 2019. OFAC designated the former head of Iranís Judiciary Sadegh Amoli Larijani Larijani in January 2018 pursuant to E.O. 13553 for his administrative oversight over the executions of individuals who were juveniles at the time of their crime and the torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of prisoners in Iran, including amputations.
According to a United Nations report, Iranís Judiciary sanctioned the execution of seven child offenders last year, and two so far in 2019, despite human rights law prohibitions against the death penalty for anyone under age 18. There are at least 90 child offenders currently on death row in Iran. In addition, between September 2018 and July 2019, at least eight prominent lawyers were arrested for defending political prisoners and human rights defenders, many of whom have received lengthy sentences by Iranís Judiciary.
Prior to Raisiís appointment as head of the Judiciary, he served as prosecutor general of Tehran between 1989 and 1994, first deputy head of the judiciary from 2004 to 2014, and Iranís prosecutor general from 2014 to 2016. Raisi was involved in the regimeís brutal crackdown on Iranís Green Movement protests that followed the chaotic and disorderly 2009 election. Previously, as deputy prosecutor general of Tehran, Raisi participated in a so-called "death commission" that ordered the extrajudicial executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.
Seyyed Ebrahim Ra'isi was born in December 1960 in a religious family in the city of Mashhad in the Noghan Dideh neighborhood. His father, Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Haji, the head of Sadati, as well as his mother, Seyyed Esmat Khodadad Husseini, belong to the lineage of Sadat Hosseini and his lineage from both sides goes back to Hazrat Zayd ibn Ali ibn Al-Husayn (as). Seyed Ibrahim lost his father when he was 5 years old.
He completed his primary education at the Javadiya School and began his seminary studies at the Nawab School and then at the Ayatollah Mousavinejad School. In 1975, he went to the seminary of Qom and Ayatollah Boroujerdi School to continue his education, and for some time he studied in a school run by Ayatollah Pasandideh under the supervision of Imam Khomeini.
Ra'isi studied in the seminary of Qom, the principles of jurisprudence with Ayatollah Marvi, Lamatin with Ayatollah Fazel Harandi, the treatises with Ayatollah Mousavi Tehrani, the lessons of Muharram with Ayatollah Dozduzani, the book Al-Bayy with the lessons of Ayatollah Khazali Ayatollah Sotoudeh and Ayatollah Taheri Khorramabadi and Kefayeh with Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Mohaghegh Damad, the interpretation of the Holy Quran with Ayatollah Meshkini and Ayatollah Khazali, the explanation of poetry and philosophy with Ayatollah Ahmad Beheshti and a course of knowledge with Ayatollah Motahari And he learned Nahj al-Balaghah from Ayatollah Nouri Hamedani.
Ra'isi studied outside of principles with Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Hassan Marashi Shoushtari and Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi and outside of jurisprudence with Ayatollah Agha Mojtaba Tehrani and Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Revolution. After completing the seminary level course, he was able to enter the master's degree course in private law and after defending his dissertation entitled "Inheritance without heirs" in 1380 by passing the doctoral entrance exam of Shahid Motahari High School in the field of jurisprudence and private law Continue education.
Ra'isi, by completing his research in the field of jurisprudence and law, succeeded in obtaining the highest level degree (level four) and finally defended his doctoral dissertation entitled "Conflict of principle and appearance in jurisprudence and law". And by obtaining an excellent grade, he achieved a doctorate in jurisprudence and law.
Ra'isi, following the insult to Imam Khomeini (ra) in the information newspaper on January 8, 1977 and the beginning of popular movements, participated in protest rallies, most of which originated in the school of Ayatollah Boroujerdi (Khan School), and in the form of a core of Revolutionary scholars were active. During this period, he pursued his campaign activities in the form of contacts with revolutionary scholars released from prison or in exile. He also participated in gatherings such as the sit-in of ulema and clerics at the University of Tehran.
After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, he participated in a special training course held by the Shahid Beheshti to provide staff to meet the management needs of the Islamic system. Following the Marxist uprisings and the creation of various problems in Masjed Soleyman, he went to that area with a group of scholars in the form of cultural activities. After returning from Masjed Soleiman, he established the political-ideological complex of Safar-Do training camp in Shahroud and managed it for a short time.
A native of Mashhad, like Khamenei, Raisi rose quickly through the ranks to become prosecutor-general of Karaj at the age of 20, two years after the 1979 revolution. Two years later, in 1982, he became the prosecutor of Hamedan. Ra'isi entered in the field of management in 1980 by attending the judicial office in Karaj, and after a while, he was appointed as the prosecutor of Karaj by the decree of Martyr Qudussi. His success in organizing the complex situation of this city caused him to take charge of the Hamedan city prosecutor's office after two years in the summer of 1982, simultaneously with the Karaj city prosecutor's office. His simultaneous presence in these two responsibilities continued for a while until he was introduced as the prosecutor of Hamedan province and served in this position from 1982 to 1984.
Hojjatoleslam Ra'isi married Dr. Jamileh Sadat Alam al-Huda, the eldest daughter of Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Alam al-Huda, in 1983 at the age of 23. Dr. Alam al-Huda is an Associate Professor of Philosophy of Educational Sciences at Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran, a former director of the Humanities Research Institute and chair of the Education Commission of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution. Hojjatoleslam Dr. Raisi and Dr. Alam al-Huda have two daughters. Hojjatoleslam Dr. Ra'isi, who pays special attention to his education and that of his family members, is married to his first daughter and has two master's degrees. One is in the field of social sciences from Al-Zahra University (peace be upon him) and the other is in the field of Quran and Hadith Sciences from the University of Hadith in the city of Rey.
Raeisi was appointed as the Deputy Prosecutor of the Revolution in Tehran in 1985, and thus began his period of judicial management in Tehran. Following his success in resolving complex court cases, Imam Khomeini appointed him to address social problems in some provinces, including Lorestan, Kermanshah, and Semnan, through special and direct rulings.
Raisi is notorious for his role in the 1980s mass executions of regime opponents. He was a member of the so-called death committee that questioned prisoners about their religious beliefs and political affiliations and sent thousands of Iranians to their deaths. In 1985, Raisi moved to the capital and became a deputy to Tehranís prosecutor-general. He held the post in the summer of 1988 when an estimated 5,000 political prisoners, including students and leftists, were executed following an order by the founder of Iran's Islamic republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
After the death of Imam Khomeini, Ra'isi was appointed as the Prosecutor of Tehran by the order of the then head of the Judiciary, and he held this position for five years from 1989 to 1994. He has been the head of the National Inspection Organization since 1373. It was appointed that his service in this position continued until 2004. Ra'isi's tenure in charge of the National Inspection Agency was a turning point in his life. Having experienced a national macro-management for ten years, he transformed and systematized the supervision of administrative apparatuses based on his accumulated experiences. During his tenure, the National Inspection Agency faced a balanced structural development and was established as one of the regulatory pillars of the Islamic Republic. During this period, which coincided with the coming to power of the reform government, many nodes of the administrative and economic system were identified and a way out of the field of corruption was formulated. Some controversial cases of economic corruption were the product of the day-to-day activities of Ra'isi and his colleagues in this organization at that time.
Hojjatoleslam Dr. Ra'isi was the First Deputy of the Judiciary for ten years from 2004 to 2014 . He, who experienced two heads of forces in this position, as one of the senior judicial officials of the country, was responsible for organizing and managing the organization of this complex. From 1393 to Esfand 1394, he served as the Attorney General.
Ra'isi had worked as a special prosecutor for the clergy since 2012 with the decree of the Supreme Leader. He was also appointed as the patron saint of Astan Quds Razavi (as) by the decree of Grand Ayatollah Khamenei on March 8, 1994, and he is still honored to serve in that lofty threshold.
It is worth mentioning that in 1997, he became a member of the Clergy Society at the suggestion of some influential members of the militant clergy community, including Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani, and with the approval of the Central Council of the Clergy Society.
Ra'isi was nominated in 2006 by the Qom Seminary Teachers Association and the Society of Fighting Clergy and on the recommendation of the elites of South Khorasan Province for membership in the fourth term of the Assembly of Experts, which was elected by more than 80% of the people. Two years after attending this assembly, the nation's experts elected him as a member of the presidium.
He was also elected as the representative of the honorable people of South Khorasan for the second time in the fifth term of the Assembly of Leadership Experts in March 2016 by gaining an overwhelming majority of votes, and his membership in the board continues.
Hojjatoleslam Dr. Ra'isi started a new period of his life in April 1996 by registering as a candidate for the twelfth presidential election.
Hojjatoleslam Dr. Raeisi, in addition to major national responsibilities, on the repeated advice of Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani and Ayatollah Haj Agha Mojtaba Tehrani to maintain their academic relationship with students, since 1980 as a teacher in religious schools in Tehran, including the school Majd school Imam Ali (PBUH), school of Imam Hussein (PBUH) and school Marvi teaches senior-level domains, such as letters and Makasib, Kfaytyn and rules Fqhyh was busy and then heading to the holy city of Mashhad since the beginning of 1395 at the High school Nawab, teaching He dealt with the subject of "waqf jurisprudence". Hojjatoleslam Dr. Ra'isi has taught specialized courses in jurisprudence, jurisprudence, economics, principles of jurisprudence and civil law in the master's and doctoral degrees.
Like the supreme leader, Raisi comes from the holy city of Mashhad, in northeast Iran. It was no coincidence that, in 2016, Khamenei appointed him to head the powerful religious foundation Astan Quds Razavi. The foundation manages the shrine of Imam Reza Ė the Prophet's eighth successor according to the Duodecimal Shiites Ė and is located in the same city of Mashhad.
This major Shiite pilgrimage site attracts billions of euros in donations, funds which the Astan Quds Razavi organisation controls. The foundation, which functions as both a charity and a holding company, owns a multitude of real estate properties, farmland and businesses in fields as diverse as construction, tourism, agriculture and food. To head this foundation is to run an economic empire. Raisi did this for three years, before being summoned by Khamenei to pursue a different role.
This supporter of a "state-led" vision is not expected to advocate opening up the Iranian economy to foreign investors. Iran under Raisi is most likely to continue to invest in infrastructure, water, electricity and health, with an economy dominated by the foundations he knows well and the Revolutionary Guards who also own many companies. Researchers estimate that these semi-public players currently represent more than 50 percent of the Iranian economy, but that the phenomenon remains difficult to quantify because these companies do not have "clear traceability" and operate in a system that protects them.
As for the Iranian nuclear agreement currently being negotiated, although Raisi is defiant towards the West, he is not expected be explicitly opposed to it. It is always the supreme leader who sets the tone for these negotiations. Raisi has referred to the United States as "the Great Satan" and said that it cannot be trusted. "We donít count on U.S. promises in our calculations," he was quoted as saying in February 2017 on the anniversary of Iran's 1979 revolution that ousted the shah and replaced him with a theocracy.
Ebrahim Raisi, Iranís hardline judiciary chief, has won a landslide victory in the countryís presidential election. Israel condemned Raisi, saying he was Iranís ďmost extremist president to dateĒ. ďThe butcher of Tehran, Ebrahim Raisi, has been rightly denounced by the international community for his direct role in the extrajudicial executions of over 30,000 people,Ē Lior Haiat, Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, said in a statement. ďAn extremist figure, committed to Iranís rapidly advancing military nuclear programme, his election makes clear Iranís true malign intentions, and should prompt grave concern among the international community.Ē
ďThat Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture, is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran,Ē Amnesty International head Agnes Callamard said. ďWe continue to call for Ebrahim Raisi to be investigated for his involvement in past and ongoing crimes under international law, including by states that exercise universal jurisdiction.Ē
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