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Inauguration of Ebrahim Raisi as the New President of Iran

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

August 3 is the day of the inauguration of Ebrahim Raisi as the new president of Iran. On the behest of Khamenei, Raisi was appointed as president of Iran on June 18 in a sham election that was widely boycotted by most Iranians. But more controversial than this appointment is his role in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners. 


At the time, he, who was Tehran's deputy prosecutor, was commissioned by Ruhollah Khomeini, along with several others, to manage the situation of political prisoners and eliminate anyone who disagreed with Khomeini.  

According to eyewitnesses of that massacre, who are rare, this committee is known as the death committee almost emptied Iran's prisons of political prisoners in a short period of time and handed over more than 30,000 death sentences to political prisoners, who were executed and secretly buried in mass graves, with no names or signs. 

Although the news of these crimes was divulged at the same time by some opponents of the regime, especially the Mojahedin Khalq Organization(MEK), that about 90% of the victims were their members or affiliates, but no one realized the scale of this crime.  Only many years later when an audiotape of Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri (Khomeini's successor at the time), was released by his son, everyone realized that the news was true and was shocked by the scale of this massacre. 

In that audiotape, Montazeri, who opposed the brutal massacre, in a meeting with members of the death committee, including Ebrahim Raisi, said:  "History will condemn us for this is the greatest crime committed in the Islamic republic by you, and your names in future will be written as criminal in history”.
Of course, Khomeini quickly removed Montazeri as his successor and placed him under house arrest for his stance and opposition to the massacre.


Now, 33 years after that massacre, Ebrahim Raisi, who has followed Khamenei's orders undisputedly has been promoted from a young prosecutor to the presidency of the regime. But he sits in this position at a time when Iran, because of institutionalized corruption in the clerical regime is in the most critical state of its 42 years under the Mullahs. 

The catastrophic economic situation in which now 80% of people live below the poverty line. Skyrocketing prices with inflation above 50%. Due to the mass closure of factories and production centers 40% of university graduates are unemployed, which as a result many of whom emigrate abroad. 

According to research conducted by the World Bank, Iran loses more than

$50 billion annually due to the emigration of university graduates. Iran's revenue from oil sales in 2019 was only $ 20 billion. 

There are also staggering statistics of addiction among the country's youth, with a high percentage of schoolgirls and boys whose almost all recreational facilities have been banned by the regime, causing them to turn to drugs. 

The embezzlement of billions of dollars by the regime's affiliates, so that now, on the one hand, Iran has the highest number of millionaires in the Middle East, and on the other hand more than 50 million people are living in poverty and cannot provide for their daily needs and about38 million of them have been driven to the outskirts of cities and are living in shantytowns that do not have the basic facilities for living. 


Ebrahim Raisi is taking over the presidency in a situation where nearly340,000people have lost their lives due to the government's failure to provide the Coronavirus vaccine and Khamenei's opposition to importing Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.  While most of the countries have vaccinated more than 60% of their population, according to the Associated Press, less than 3% of Iran’s population has been fully vaccinated.  

Iran is currently suffering from the fifth peak of this disease with Delta variation, and several hundred people are falling victim to this crime perpetrated by the Iranian regime every day. 

He is taking over the helm of a bankrupt government at a time when almost every day we see mass protests and strikes by workers and employees who are dissatisfied with their living conditions because their income does not even cover one-third of their expenses and many have not even received the same meager salary for several months. 

Recently, Iranians have also faced power and water outages in the scorching heat of summer, especially in southern regions and Khuzestan province, that in some days temperature reaches above 120 F. Water outages in Khuzestan have been caused by drying rivers which in turn caused by illogical and non-regulated construction of dams without any environmental impact study was done!  The agricultural products of farmers and their livestock are all being lost, and this caused anger, protest, and uprising of people, first in the cities of Khuzestan and then in other provinces in support of the people of Khuzestan. 


These protests frightened the regime, and because it could not solve the people's problems due to the prevailing corruption in the regime apparatus, it tried to stifle the demonstrators by suppressing them. 

Ebrahim Raisi, who is well aware of Iran’s conditions, tried to gain the support of dissatisfied people by making empty promises in his election speeches. Such as that he will create one million housing units per year for people with lower income, or that he will create one million new jobs per year, and that he will reduce the inflation to single digits within a year. Promises that no one believes. Because Iran is currently facing a budget deficit of $ 107 billion, and since it is not possible to raise this money with the imposition of the US sanctions, he will have to print unsupported banknotes, which means another series of inflation, skyrocketing prices, poverty, and misery for ordinary people. 

Also at the international level, the regime is looking up at North Korea as a paradigm and has put all its efforts into acquiring nuclear weapons for its survival. Khamenei has not given up its covert or overt activities to achieve this goal and is therefore still under extensive US sanctions.  

Iran's relations with other countries are at a minimum too due to the interference in the affairs of other countries and its support for proxy armed groups in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and so on. 


All these factors have made the majority of Iranians want to overthrow and change the regime of the Islamic Republic with a democratic system based on the separation of religion and state, and the spread of protests and uprisings show that with each passing day, despite all repressions, they are getting closer to this goal. Many experts believe Raisi will not see the end of his four-year term. 

Cyrus Yaqubi is a Research Analyst and Iranian Foreign Affairs Commentator investigating the social issues and economy of the Middle East countries in general and Iran in particular.

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