A New Dawn Breaks in Tehran: New President Ebrahim Raisi | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

A New Dawn Breaks in Tehran: New President Ebrahim Raisi

On Thursday, Iran’s new president Ebrahim Raisi takes the oath of office in a ceremony in the Majlis in Tehran. This will be a defining moment in the Islamic Republic’s political history, since in many ways, the country is at the crossroads.

The Islamic system continues to enjoy a broad social base but erosion is taking place. The economy is in shambles and the lifting of sanctions will give much relief to people’s hardships. Rampant corruption has discredited the regime and caused alienation among the people. But, paradoxically, Iran’s inexorable rise as a regional power is today a compelling reality.

Raisi happens to be a popular figure, given his record as the chief justice to crack down on corruption. The participation in Iran’s national elections is restricted to candidates who are loyal to Velayat-e faqih — or, guardianship of the Islamic jurist— a system of governance that the country adopted after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which is rooted in Shia Islam and justifies the rule of the clergy over the state. But it allows free elections, since the empowerment of the people is the bedrock of legitimacy for the country’s political system.

The United States has a problem with Raisi insofar as he was one of the deputy prosecutors associated with the trial and execution of the cadres of the militant organisation known as Mujahedin-e Khalq, which openly advocated the overthrow of the Islamic Republic through violent means.

Suffice to say, the human rights issue that is brought to the forefront to tarnish Raisi’s image is not the real issue today, but the ascendance of a new leader who is expected to consolidate Iran’s revolutionary legacy at a crucial juncture when the country’s domestic politics once again intersects with the relations with the US.