Connect with us


Death of Iran’s President Complicates Leadership Succession Plans • Stimson Center



Death of Iran’s President Complicates Leadership Succession Plans • Stimson Center

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi died on Sunday in a helicopter accident in a distant space of northwestern Iran.

Together with him have been Iran’s Overseas Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the consultant of the Supreme Chief in Tabriz, and the governor-general of Japanese Azerbaijan province, the place the crash befell.

Raisi is the second Iranian president to die in workplace for the reason that 1979 Islamic Revolution. The primary was Mohammad Ali Rajaei, who was assassinated by the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq Group, a militant group that broke away from the revolution, in 1981. But, the 2 deaths happen in very completely different contexts.

Below the Iranian system, the Supreme Chief, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has the ultimate say on all necessary issues in Iran. Khamenei is 85 and Raisi, 63, who had been fastidiously groomed to increased workplace, seemed to be one of many major contenders to exchange him. Raisi’s demise opens the door to different potential candidates at a time when Iran is going through extreme challenges together with financial issues, home alienation, and rising tensions with its regional arch-foe, Israel.

For a few years, Mojtaba Khamenei, the second son of Khamenei and his shut aide, has been thought-about a number one candidate to succeed him. One other risk is Alireza Arafi, a outstanding member of the Meeting of Consultants which nominally chooses the chief.

Raisi’s father-in-law, Ahmad Alam-ol-Hoda, additionally involves thoughts. Alam-ol-Hoda is a robust determine within the japanese metropolis of Mashhad and is the Supreme Chief’s consultant in Khorasan Razavi province. Raisi’s widow and Alam-ol-Hoda’s daughter, Jamileh Alam-ol-Hoda, is alleged to have wished to be Iran’s First Woman, and that will have been achieved provided that her husband turned the chief. She has been advocating for the title since October 2023, when she introduced the time period of “First Woman” to the political rhetoric of the Islamic Republic. Maybe she would accept “First Daughter.”

One other highly effective determine is Ahmad Khatami, a member of the presidium of the Meeting of Consultants. Like Raisi, Khatami is a hardliner who has been positioned on the European Union’s sanctions listing for “inciting violence towards protesters,” together with “demanding the demise penalty,” for many who took half within the protest motion following the demise in police custody of Mahsa Amini in 2022. Khatami can also be a member of the Guardian Council, the physique that vets candidates for president and different elected workplace. Below Iran’s Structure, new elections for president should be held inside 50 days.

Raisi’s demise scrambles the choreography for the seating of a brand new Meeting of Consultants, chosen in latest elections. The brand new Meeting was presupposed to convene this week and select the brand new chief of its presidium, its governing physique. Raisi, who had been the deputy head of the presidium, was the frontrunner for the highest job, which theoretically would have given him the ability to approve or reject the Meeting’s alternative for Khamenei’s successor. Now, there must be an election to decide on a alternative for Raisi in South Khorasan province.

Iran may even have to pick out a brand new president at a time when voter turnout in latest elections has been at historic lows.

Vice President Mohammad Mokhber Dezfouli can be briefly taking cost of the Govt department, underneath Article 131 of Iran’s Structure.

A council consisting of the Speaker of the Parliament, the Judiciary Chief, and the First Vice President is obliged to rearrange a brand new presidential election inside a most interval of fifty days.

It’s probably that Mokhber, who has run necessary monetary conglomerations in Iran, will run for the presidency together with a perennial candidate, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, the present speaker of parliament.

Qalibaf, a former mayor of Tehran and head of the Air Drive of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) ran unsuccessfully for the presidency thrice starting in 2005, when he misplaced to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Qalibaf is taken into account a relative average however his probabilities of successful this time are unclear. He’s additionally probably to get replaced as speaker of the parliament.

Over the course of Khamenei’s management, Iran’s permitted political spectrum has grow to be increasingly slim. The upcoming presidential elections are more likely to be uncompetitive and the general public’s morale is at an all-time low. The system might attempt to introduce some reformist figures to make the election extra engaging to Iranians who’ve misplaced their religion within the institution. One risk is Es’haq Jahangiri, vice chairman underneath Hassan Rouhani, who preceded Raisi.

Jahangiri has sought to distance himself from Rouhani, saying that he was stripped of his energy throughout Rouhani’s second time period (2017-2021). This might increase Jahangiri’s likelihood to outlive vetting by the Guardian Council. Nevertheless, Jahangari lacks a powerful fan base amongst atypical Iranians.

Given the quick time obtainable earlier than elections, the council has little time to vet candidates. Subsequently, we’re more likely to see acquainted names, who’ve gone via the vetting course of earlier than.

Will Raisi’s demise and a brand new president change the scenario dramatically for the Iranian folks? The quick reply is not any. The prevailing hardline doctrine in each home and overseas insurance policies is more likely to be continued.

Saeed Azimi is a political journalist based mostly in Tehran. Discover him on X (previously referred to as Twitter) at @saeedazimi1772. 

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *