Iran election: “Stability and security” says Putin. Israel is alarmed about nukes

Lee Heidhues 6.19.2021

The world communtity is weighing in with its opinion about the victory of an “arch conservative” to be Iran’s next President.

Predictably much of the insular American press has little to say about Iranian politics. Americans interest in foreign affairs is minimal at best and disinterested in the mainstream.

There is another reason to be thankful Trump and Netanyahu are gone from power. Were both men still around the airwaves would be full of  bombastic rhetoric about Ebrahim Raisi. It’s good the adults are minding the store once again in Washington, DC and Israel.

Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 6.19.2021

The news of hard-liner Ebrahim Raisi’s election win in Iran on Saturday sparked mixed reactions from the international community.

Ebrahim Raisi Iran VI  6.19.2021.jpeg

While regional allies welcomed the Islamic hard-liner’s win, exiled opposition groups decried the vote as a farce — and Western nations remained largely silent.

 The 60-year-old arch-conservative cleric will replace outgoing moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who could not run again after holding office for two terms.

Raisi is known as a fierce critic of the West. He will become the first serving Iranian president to already be under US sanctions before entering office, due to his involvement in mass executions in 1988.

Iran’s regional allies were quick to congratulate Raisi, but analysts say his win could spell difficulties in improving ties with regional neighbors and the West.

Who welcomed his win?

One of the strongest messages of support came from Russia, with President Vladimir Putin saying Raisi could help strengthen “bilateral cooperation.”

“This responds entirely to the interests of the Russian and Iranian people and goes towards reinforcing regional stability and security,” Putin said in a message.

Syrian President Bashar Assad was one of the first to welcome the win, sending his “warmest congratulations” in a statement. Iran has been a key player in helping Assad hold power in Syria’s decade-long conflict.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan echoed Putin’s remarks — saying he was ready to work with Iran’s newly-elected president. Erdogan said he believed “cooperation between our two countries would be strengthened further.”

Congratulations also came in from the United Arab Emirates as well as Oman, which has served as a mediator between Tehran and the West.

Ebrahim Raisi Iran V 6.19.2021.jpeg

How did others respond?

Israel voiced concern over Raisi’s win, saying the international community should be alarmed over his commitment to a “rapidly advancing military nuclear program.”

The United States said it regretted Iranians were not able to participate in a “free and fair electoral process.”

A State Department spokesperson said, “Iranians were denied their right to choose their own leaders in a free and fair electoral process.”

The European Union also did not react immediately. Brussels did, however, release a statement on Saturday evening saying negotiations on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal will resume on Sunday.

The EU statement said representatives from Iran will be present at the talks in Vienna, along with the other signatories of the 2015 deal. The US also said it would participate in indirect negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program.