What Iranian President’s Death Really Means

photosince / shutterstock.com
photosince / shutterstock.com

When an authoritarian leader dies, such as Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi, there is bound to be some gladness, if not celebration. It would also lead more glass-half-full of people like me to hope for better for the people who call Iran home.

However, nations like Iran and their history of violence and tyranny are complex. And Raisi’s death has only made it more so.

As I mentioned, the “Butcher of Tehran’s” sudden death does, in fact, have many around the world celebrating. I mean, this is a man who oversaw massive political executions in 1988. He also presided over the arrest of Mahsa Amini in 2022 for supposedly not wearing her hijab the right way. She died in his custody.

And when protesters decried her arrest and death, he killed 500 of them and arrested another 22,000 more.

“butcher” is almost a nice term…

But as the Financial Times explains, Raisi was only one part of an oppressive regime that is still very much in control.

For starters, he was considered a shoo-in for a second term.

Additionally, it was pretty much a known fact that he was being groomed to eventually take over for the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is 85 years old.

Naturally, this creates what can really only be called a power vacuum with potential presidential and supreme leader successor candidates lining up to be chosen, as no one was expecting Raisi’s death and had no real seconds in mind.

For now, the acting president is Mohammad Mokhber, who was vice president under Raisi. Naturally, he is a contender for the next election which must take place in 50 days. Another possibility is Saeed Jalili, a hardliner of the Islamic regime and a man who served as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator.

Still another is Ali Larijani, from a clerical family like Raisi. But men such as Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, a former Air Force commander and member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard are being considered.

Now, as nearly all those within the regime tend to be hardliners, the likelihood of policies or anything changing is pretty slim.

But it still creates some turbulence in a nation already filled with far too much of it…