2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi attends an election debate at a tv studio, in Tehran, Iran June 8, 2021. Morteza Fakhri Nezhad/YJC/WANA (West Asia Information Company) by way of REUTERS 2/2 By Parisa Hafezi DUBAI (Reuters) -Ebrahim Raisi’s report of fierce loyalty to Iran’s ruling clerics helps clarify why he received
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi attends an election debate at a tv studio, in Tehran, Iran June 8, 2021. Morteza Fakhri Nezhad/YJC/WANA (West Asia Information Company) by way of REUTERS
By Parisa Hafezi
DUBAI (Reuters) -Ebrahim Raisi’s report of fierce loyalty to Iran’s ruling clerics helps clarify why he received Friday’s presidential election as anticipated, a contest the authorities restricted nearly completely to hardline candidates like him.
The win for Raisi, 60, an implacable critic of the West whose political patron is Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, burnishes his possibilities of in the future succeeding Khamenei on the pinnacle of energy, analysts say.
Accused by critics of human rights abuses stretching again a long time – allegations his defenders deny – Raisi was appointed by Khamenei to the high-profile job of judiciary chief in 2019.
Later that 12 months, Raisi headed the authorized system as authorities used the courts to suppress the bloodiest political unrest for the reason that 1979 Islamic revolution. Iran says its authorized system is impartial and never influenced by political pursuits.
“Raisi is a pillar of a system that jails, tortures, and kills individuals for daring to criticize state insurance policies,” stated Hadi Ghaemi, govt director of New York-based advocacy group the Heart for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI), in an announcement.
Iran denies it tortures prisoners.
A mid-ranking determine within the hierarchy of Iran’s Shi’ite Muslim clergy, Raisi has been a senior judiciary official for many of his profession. He served as deputy head of the judiciary for 10 years, earlier than being appointed prosecutor-general in 2014.
Gaining a status as a feared safety hawk, he was one in all 4 judges who oversaw executions of hundreds of political prisoners in 1988, rights teams say. Amnesty Worldwide has put the quantity executed at round 5,000, saying in a 2018 report that “the true quantity might be larger”.
SUPPORT FOR IRAN TALKS
The CHRI stated that these executed had been “buried in unmarked mass and particular person graves, primarily based on the committee’s dedication of their ‘loyalty’ to the newly established Islamic Republic. These prisoners had already been tried and had been serving their issued jail sentences”.
Iran has by no means acknowledged the mass executions. Nonetheless, some clerics have stated the trials of the prisoners had been truthful, and people judges concerned ought to be rewarded for eliminating the armed opposition within the revolution’s early years. Raisi himself has by no means publicly addressed allegations about his function.
In 2020, U.N. human rights consultants known as for accountability over the 1988 deaths, warning “the state of affairs could quantity to crimes towards humanity” if the Iranian authorities continued to refuse to carry accountable these concerned.
The US imposed sanctions on Raisi in 2019 for human rights violations, together with the Eighties executions and his half within the suppression of unrest in 2009.
Raisi, who misplaced to pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani in 2017, supplied no detailed political or financial programme throughout his election marketing campaign, whereas wooing lower-income Iranians by promising to ease unemployment.
Nonetheless, by promising to not “waste a single second” in eradicating U.S. sanctions, Raisi signalled his help for talks with world powers aimed toward reviving a 2015 nuclear deal.
Tehran’s delegation chief stated negotiators for Iran and 6 world powers will on Sunday adjourn these talks and return to respective capitals for consultations as remaining variations can’t be simply overcome.
A Raisi presidency will strengthen Khamenei’s hand at house, and rights activists worry it might usher in additional repression.
“He wouldn’t have registered as a candidate if his probabilities weren’t all however sure, and Raisi’s resolution to register would have nearly actually been guided by Khamenei himself,” stated Kasra Aarabi, a senior analyst on Iran & Shia Islamist Extremism on the Tony Blair Institute for World Change.
NEXT SUPREME LEADER?
With the rejection of outstanding reasonable and conservative candidates by a hardline vetting physique, voters had a alternative solely between hardliners and low-key moderates within the election. Turnout was, as anticipated, a report low amid rising anger over financial hardship and curbs on private freedoms.
“By taking its exclusionary methods to a brand new peak, the Guardian Council has left no area for shock,” stated Ali Vaez, senior adviser on the Worldwide Disaster Group.
An election win would improve Raisi’s possibilities of succeeding Khamenei, who himself served two phrases as president earlier than changing into supreme chief upon founding father of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s 1989 demise, analysts stated earlier than Friday’s vote.
“Raisi is somebody that Khamenei trusts … Raisi can shield the supreme chief’s legacy,” stated Sanam Vakil, deputy director of Chatham Home’s Center East and North Africa Program.
Born in 1960 to a non secular household in Iran’s holy Shi’ite Muslim metropolis of Mashhad, Raisi was lively within the 1979 revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed Shah and continues to proclaim his constancy to the “basic values” of Khamenei.
“The deep state is keen to go so far as undermining one in all its pillars of legitimacy to make sure that Ayatollah Khamenei’s imaginative and prescient for the revolution’s future survives him when Raisi takes over the Supreme Chief’s mantle,” stated Vaez.
Vaez was referring to the republican pillar of Iran’s twin system of clerical and republican rule. Critics say the hardline election physique’s rejection of main reasonable and conservative hopefuls to enter the election race has cleared the best way for tyranny, a cost Iranian authorities deny.