Iran’s Guardian Council Paves The Way For Regime Hardliner Raisi To Iranian Presidency

(New York, N.Y.) – In disqualifying many prominent moderate and reformist candidates, Iran’s ruling clerics have paved the way for conservative hardliner and judiciary chief Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi to succeed President Hassan Rouhani. The Iranian presidential election is scheduled for June 18. In addition to being the odds-on favorite to win the presidency, Raisi is widely seen as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s preferred heir apparent.

Iran’s Guardian Council, a vetting body, dominated by hardline conservative clerics appointed by Khamenei, has disqualified hundreds of candidates in recent weeks to minimize the likelihood of Raisi being upset in his presidential bid. The Council has approved only seven of the nearly 600 Iranians who registered as candidates for office to appear on the ballot, underscoring the reality that Iranian elections are not free or fair, and that support for a continuation of Iran’s malign behavior is a prerequisite set by the regime for any candidate.

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI)’s resource, Ebrahim Raisi: Chief Justice Of Iran, highlights Raisi’s career in leading Iran’s judicial system and potential next steps for Raisi’s political future. Raisi was among the panel of judges who imposed death penalties on thousands of political prisoners in 1988, demonstrating his willingness to kill and commit wanton human rights abuses to uphold the Iranian regime. After a career in the judiciary, Khamenei granted Raisi a plum post as head of a massive charity before appointing him as Chief Justice of Iran’s judicial system in 2019. His ascendance can be explained by three factors: promotion by Khamenei, an influential family network, and a knack for leveraging state positions to feed his ambition.

To read UANI’s resource, Ebrahim Raisi: Chief Justice of Iran, please click here.