Conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi to be appointed as Iran’s new judiciary chief

ebrahim raisi justice
Photo: Reuters
ebrahim raisi justice
Photo: Reuters

Today, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei will appoint prominent cleric Ebrahim Raisi to the post of chief of the judiciary.

With the responsibilities of overseeing and administering Iran’s judicial system, the position is an incredibly powerful one. The chief justice also is the highest position on the Supreme Court of Iran.

Human rights activists have expressed concern at Raisi’s appointment due to his involvement in the execution of thousands of political dissidents in the late 1980s. Though he was trounced in the 2017 presidential election by moderate Hassan Rouhani, the hardline cleric still garnered more than 16 million votes. Raisi’s appointment by Khamenei could be part of an effort to appease the country’s vocal, hardline factions.

Washington has spoken out against Raisi’s appointment, charging that he should be prosecuted for his crimes that occurred towards the end of the Iran-Iraq War. The new judicial chief can expect to face US sanctions in his new role as his predecessor, Ali Larijani, did. Under Raisi’s rule, the country’s judiciary will likely continue to dish out hardline punishments, like execution, and conduct closed-door trials for those with Western ties, further exacerbating tensions between Tehran and Washington.

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