It’s official: Ebrahim Raisi is the new Iranian president. The official outcome of yesterday’s vote was given by the Tehran Ministry of the Interior. Raisi was elected president with 17.926 million votes.
Voter turnout in Iran in yesterday’s presidential election was 48.8%. This is the lowest turnout in the history of the Islamic Republic, after 50.6% recorded in the 1993 elections, when Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani had defeated conservative rival Ahmed Tavakkoli.
Born in 1960 in Mashad, the second most important city in the country, Ebrahim Raisi was a student of theology and Islamic jurisprudence of the spiritual guide Ali Khamenei. In his early twenties – in the wake of the events of the revolution – he was appointed attorney general of Karaj, one of the suburbs of Tehran.
Chief prosecutor of the capital from 1989 to 1994, deputy head of the judiciary from 2004, then attorney general, in 2016 Raisi was put by Khamenei at the head of ‘Astan Quds Razavi’, one of the largest religious foundations in the country that oversees the sanctuary of the Imam Reza of Mashad. Three years later he became head of the judiciary. He is part of the Assembly of Experts, the body that elects the Supreme Leader.
Married to Jamileh Alamolhoda, a lecturer at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, and father of two daughters, he also boasts a family bond (he is the son-in-law) with the guidance of Friday prayer in Mashad, the influential Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda. Sanctioned by the Trump administration for his alleged human rights abuses, Raisi is on the shortlist of Khamenei’s possible successors.
For the opposition abroad, his name is inextricably linked to the so-called ‘commission of death’, a special court commissioned by Ayatollah Khomeini himself who in 1988 sentenced thousands of prisoners to the gallows – according to the Center for Human Rights in Iran. Iranian politicians. Interviewed in 2018 about the purges, Raisi denied any involvement. He was much more uncompromising towards the Green Wave activists who in 2009 protested against Ahmadinejad’s re-election. “To those who speak of ‘Islamic compassion and forgiveness’, we reply: we will continue to face the rioters to the end and we will eradicate this sedition,” he said.