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Iran’s new president Ebrahim Raisi to be confirmed


Iran’s new president Ebrahim Raisi to be confirmed

Photo: AFP

Former Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi will be inaugurated as Iran’s new president today.

A hardline former cleric, Raisi will replace moderate Hassan Rouhani. Criticism dogged the elections, including that Iran’s Guardian Council disqualified reformist candidates and manipulated proceedings to favor Raisi. Raisi maintains close ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Raisi’s victory continues Iran’s hardliners consolidation of power. They control nearly three-quarters of parliament’s 290 seats, while also dominating the judiciary and leading the military and intelligence agencies. Rouhani’s failure to realize economic benefits from the suspended 2015 nuclear deal eroded support for Iran’s moderate and reformist movements, with hardliners like Raisi capitalizing on public disappointment.

Expect Raisi to prioritize self-reliance and boosting domestic industries to improve economic conditions, rather than outwardly seeking increased Western trade. However, one area in which he likely will cooperate with Western powers is the 2015 deal. Raisi expressed interest in resuming Iran’s agreement obligations, likely hoping to ease sanctions. Still, to avoid confrontation on Iran’s regional influence campaign he is unlikely to meet with President Joe Biden soon, ruling out a summit. Renewed nuclear talks will likely return relations to the pre-Trump era – failure to do so would be an early blow for Raisi, especially economically.

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