The 13th round of Iranian presidential election came to an end announcing Ebrahim Raisi as the new president. Raisi is the current head of judiciary in Iran.
Iranian Justice apparatus seems to need a new leader as Raisi is to take over the administrative apparatus in less than 45 days. Ebrahim Raisi remained in office as head of judiciary while running for presidential election.
Ebrahim Raisi won the presidential election last weekend, as predicted by the polls. He is now eligible for his first term in Sa’d Abad complex, the official residence of Iranian presidents. His command on power will last for four years, extendable for another term through election.
while Raisi’s vision becomes increasingly significant, gaining credible access to it is still difficult. Western media Insistently introduces Ebrahim Raisi as a “hardliner”. The term, however, betrays the reality behind the Iranian president-elect’s worldview.
Ebrahim Raisi; A new Face
Ebrahim Raisi, As Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, was born in the religious city of Mashhad. Mashhad is the focal religious center in Iran with Imam Reza shrine, Muslims eighth religious Imam, located in it.
A religious family acted as an encouragement for Raisi to keep up with religious doctrines in religious schools. He moved to Qom, Iranian center of religious schools, when he was 15. He recalls studentship with famous religious figures as his life’s honor.
In Addition to religious scholarships, Ebrahim Raisi also has a Ph.D. in Law, as he underscored during the presidential debates.
His attendance in Qom’s influential schools for education coincided with the spike of protests against Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. Raisi has had scattered role in the unrests leading to the downfall of shah and establishment of the new system.
Ebrahim Raisi enhanced his public reputation during the past years of his tenure in Iranian Judiciary. He instituted a set of significant judicial reforms that mitigated penalties for specific offenses. As a result, offenders were able to avoid incarceration and even capital punishment of these measures. These steps further boosted appeal in Iranian public atmosphere.
The loser of the 2017 election appeared frequently in public discussions and on national television during the last four years. Moderate policies and basic reforms made well-known personality of him in public community. This performance, not his profile led him to top the poll results even before starting the campaigns.
Following the Iranian revolution, Raisi started his job as prosecutor in different cities until 1985. He held various positions prosecutor of Tehran and chief of Iranian General Inspection Organization.
Ebrahim Raisi has also been the attorney General until 2016. He ran for president for the first time in 2017, but failed.
A Different Doctrine
Against the general view, Ebrahim Raisi insists on expansion of talks with foreign actors and local opposition parties. He believes in construction with participation of all groups and financial or scientific participation of foreign countries.
Besides, his approach to the nuclear deal is far from what the media is seeking to show. While he had opposed the original deal due to some “fallacies” in details, he clearly explained his position in supporting the revival of JCPOA, as the deal is referred to, during the presidential debates.
His constructive relationship with politicians and technocrats seems to promise better years for Iran. The country has been under intense economic pressure due to US sanctions and covid-19 outbreak during the past years.
Following Raisi’s win in the election, foreign minister Zarif said he trusts in president-elect’s constructive and moderate policies inside the country and outside. Javad Zarif is a member of the de-facto opposing party and holds different world view. Ebrahim Raisi does not seem to be the hardliner he is expected to be.