Iran election: Hardliner Raisi set to win in first round

প্রকাশিত

International Desk-

Hardliner Ebrahim Raisi is to be Iran’s next president after a partial vote count gave him an unassailable lead.

He beat three other candidates in a poll in which several contenders were barred from standing.

Mr Raisi is Iran’s top judge and holds ultra-conservative views. He is under US sanctions and has been linked to past executions of political prisoners.

Iran’s president is the second-highest ranking official in the country, after the supreme leader.

The president has significant influence over domestic policy and foreign affairs. But it is Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who has the final say on all state matters.

Who is Ebrahim Raisi?
The 60-year-old cleric has served as a prosecutor for most of his career. He was appointed head of the judiciary in 2019, two years after he lost by a landslide to Mr Rouhani in the last presidential election.

Mr Raisi has presented himself as the best person to fight corruption and solve Iran’s economic problems.

However, many Iranians and human rights activists have expressed concern over his role in the mass executions of political prisoners in the 1980s.

Iran has never acknowledged the mass executions and Mr Raisi has never addressed the allegations about his role in them.

What does his win mean for Iran and the world?
BBC Persian’s Kasra Naji says that under Mr Raisi Iran’s hardliners will seek to establish a puritanical system of Islamic government, meaning more controls on social activities, fewer freedoms and jobs for women, and tighter control of social media and the press.

The hardliners are suspicious of the West, but both Mr Raisi and Supreme Leader Khamenei are thought to favour a return to an international deal on Iran’s nuclear activity.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed in 2015, gave Iran relief from Western sanctions in return for limiting its nuclear activities.

The US pulled out of the deal in 2018, and President Trump’s administration re-imposed crippling limits on Iran’s ability to trade.

The sanctions have contributed to economic hardship for ordinary Iranians, which has caused widespread discontent.

Iran has responded by re-starting nuclear operations that were banned under the deal.

Talks aimed at resurrecting the deal are ongoing in Vienna, with President Biden also keen to revive it. But both sides say the other must make the first move.