Who is Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s next president? Sanctioned by USA in 2019

Iran has elected a new President, Ebrahim Raisi.

A conservative Cleric the 60 year old has been sanctioned by the American government for his long time role in the crackdown of political protests and the execution of political prisoners.

Al Jazeera 6.19.2021

Tehran, Iran – Conservative judiciary head Ebrahim Raisi has been elected Iran’s eighth president, the interior ministry has announced.

Raisi has become the first Iranian president to be sanctioned by the United States even before assuming office as he was designated in 2019.

Following the revolution, Raisi joined the prosecutor’s office in Masjed Soleyman in southwestern Iran. Over the next six years, he added to his experience as a prosecutor in several other jurisdictions.

A crucial development came when he moved to Iran’s capital, Tehran, in 1985 after being appointed deputy prosecutor.

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Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini the first post Iranian revolutionary leader (1980-1989) looks down on Ebrahim Raisi

Despite previously opposing Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Raisi said during the presidential debates earlier this month that he will uphold the landmark accord as any other state commitment.

He did, however, point out that he will form a “strong” government to steer the agreement in the right direction.

Raisi’s election marks a consolidation of power by the conservative and hardline camp, which already controls the parliament and will likely have a replacement for the judiciary as well.

The Muslim scholar, who wears a black turban to signify he is a descendent of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, is also seen as the country’s next supreme leader.

The ministry confirmed on Saturday that Raisi won 61.95 percent of the vote on a voter turnout of 48.8 percent – the lowest turnout for a presidential election since the 1979 revolution. Raisi got 28,933,004 votes.

At 3,726,870 votes, void votes finished second in the race, also for the first time since the establishment of the Islamic Republic.

Former Revolutionary Guard commander Mohsen Rezaei finished third in Friday’s election with 3,412,712 votes and was followed by moderate candidate Abdolnasswer Hemmati with 2,427,201 votes, and conservative Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi with 999,718 votes.

“We didn’t have any violation that would have a significant impact on the outcome of the election,” Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli said during a press conference.

Rezaei, Hemmati and Hashemi had conceded ahead of the announcement on Saturday.

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Iranian President elect Ebrahim Raisi

Raisi will take office in early August, replacing moderate President Hassan Rouhani who was not allowed by the constitution to run for a third consecutive term.

“I congratulate the people on their choice,” said Rouhani on Saturday.

Raisi grew up in the northeastern city of Mashhad, an important religious centre for Shia Muslims where Imam Reza, the eighth Shia religious leader, is buried.

After becoming the prosecutor for several jurisdictions, Raisi moved to the capital, Tehran, in 1985 after being appointed deputy prosecutor.

After moving up the ranks in the judicial system, in March 2016 he was appointed by the supreme leader as the custodian of the Astan-e Quds Razavi, the influential shrine of Imam Reza, where he controlled billions of dollars in assets.

He had run for president unsuccessfully against Rouhani in 2017, garnering 38 percent of the vote.

Raisi had promised to improve Iran’s economy that is ailing under US sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic that has exacerbated decades-long infrastructural issues caused by local mismanagement.