First modification: 08/03/2021 – 14:36
After obtaining 62% of the votes in the presidential elections on June 18, the politician is close to inaugurating his term in the midst of a great economic crisis and waiting to know whether or not the United States will return to the nuclear agreement signed in 2015 .
With the promise of improving the difficult situation in Iran and ending the sanctions, the ultra-conservative Ebrahim Raisi was ratified as Iran’s president. This cleric prevailed in the presidential elections held last June and put an end to eight years of moderate rule that have not yielded the expected results in the Persian country.
The arrival of this ultra-conservative occurs at a key moment in the negotiations for the return of the United States to the 2015 nuclear Agreement. The signing of this treaty in Vienna was a real success for the Hasan Rohani government, since it eliminated a large part of the sanctions that fell on the nation and boosted its economy, but the arrival of Donald Trump to power in 2016 was a serious blow to the moderate negotiation policy. The North American country left the Agreement in 2018 and the sanctions returned automatically.
Raisi now comes to power amid an attempt to bring back a Joe Biden-ruled America that, however, appears reluctant to lift the sanctions imposed by his predecessor on Iran. The new Iranian president is known for his enormous distrust towards the West and specifically towards the United States, something that is making negotiators see a new treaty in danger.
Tensions in recent months have grown due to the progressive increase in Iran’s nuclear capacity to manufacture weapons and the refusal of the United States to withdraw sanctions, although the European powers and China assure that key steps have been taken in the negotiation.
The ratification of Raisi by the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, comes after obtaining in the June elections more than 61% of the votes. The new president faced moderates greatly weakened by their failure in international politics and in dialogue with the West.
Promise of self-sufficiency and economic improvement
During the ceremony, Raisi was able to give a speech in which he advanced his intentions to make Iran “not economically dependent on foreigners.” His speech stood out for its moderation, in a clear gesture to satisfy more liberal sectors and in it he stressed that “a short-term program containing ten issues has been designed.”
“The message of the people on the day of the elections was that they want changes, Justice, fight against poverty and discrimination and the elimination of social and economic problems,” added the new head of the Islamic Republic.
One of Iran’s main economic problems is sanctions on numerous products. This country can practically not import any basic goods from the West and has to live on specific imports of allies and products manufactured in the nation.
The commitment to autarky launched by Raisi is a risky move that the country’s liberals do not welcome due to the difficulty that Iran has to produce and obtain materials.
Raisi himself has been the subject of US sanctions since 2019, when this country directly charged several high-ranking officials of the Iranian state.
A long-standing career in Iran
Ebrahim Raisi is a clergyman from a traditionally religious family. Throughout his working life he has held senior positions within Iranian institutions, most of them to oversee compliance with the strict religious laws that govern the nation. Within the Persian upper echelons he was known for his relentless orthodoxy.
He is considered the right hand of the Supreme Leader Khamenei and one of his possible substitutes upon his death. In fact, he was in charge of appointing him head of the judiciary in 2019 due to the degree of trust he has. Khamenei was Raisi’s professor at various Shiite seminaries.
Its orthodox character and toughness make one fear a setback within the few freedoms that the nation has enjoyed in recent years. For example, sectors such as culture fear that concerts or theatrical performances will be banned.
Ebrahim Raisi faces what may be the four most important years in decades for Iran. In addition to the economic and international challenges, this may be the last government under Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, given his health and advanced age.
With EFE and Reuters