Iran President Age, Wiki, Bio, Relationship, 63-Year-Old Ebrahim Raisi Dies

Ebrahim Raisi, who died at the age of 63 in a tragic helicopter crash, was a prominent figure in Iran’s political landscape. He ascended through the ranks of Iran’s theocracy, transitioning from a hardline prosecutor to an uncompromising president. His tenure was marked by stringent enforcement of the hijab law, a rigorous crackdown on domestic protests, and a tough stance in nuclear negotiations with global powers.

Enforcement of Hijab Law

Raisi’s presidency began in 2021, following a tightly controlled election that sidelined significant conservative and moderate candidates. Soon after taking office, Raisi ordered stricter enforcement of Iran’s “hijab and chastity law,” which regulates women’s dress and behavior. This move sparked controversy and led to widespread unrest. The death of Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish Iranian woman, in police custody for allegedly violating the hijab law, ignited nationwide protests. These demonstrations were among the most significant challenges to Iran’s clerical regime since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The protests resulted in the deaths of hundreds, including dozens of security personnel, as authorities launched a fierce crackdown on dissent. Raisi, with backing from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stood firm against the protests, declaring, “Acts of chaos are unacceptable.”

Hardline Nuclear Stance

Elected in 2021, Raisi’s presidency coincided with stalled negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. His hardline approach aimed at securing substantial relief from U.S. sanctions in exchange for minimal concessions on Iran’s advancing nuclear technology. This stance was partly influenced by the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and fluctuating policies from Washington.

In 2018, then-President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear agreement, reinstating severe sanctions on Iran. This led Tehran to progressively breach the deal’s terms. Despite indirect talks with the Biden administration, efforts to restore the agreement have made little progress. Raisi’s firm position in these negotiations was in line with his anti-Western ideology, shared by Khamenei, who holds the ultimate authority in Iran.

Crackdown on Protests

Domestically, Raisi’s tenure was defined by a severe crackdown on dissent. After his election, he swiftly moved to tighten control over public expressions of opposition. The enforcement of the hijab law and the brutal suppression of protests following Mahsa Amini’s death underscored his commitment to maintaining strict social order. His actions were supported by Khamenei, ensuring that all branches of government were controlled by hardliners loyal to the supreme leader.

The nationwide protests, however, revealed significant discontent with clerical rule and Raisi’s administration. The economic struggles exacerbated by Western sanctions and domestic mismanagement further eroded his popularity.

Legacy of Controversy

Raisi’s legacy is marked by his involvement in one of the darkest periods in Iran’s recent history. As a young prosecutor in Tehran, he participated in the 1988 “death committees,” which oversaw the execution of thousands of political prisoners at the end of the Iran-Iraq war. These summary trials and mass executions have been condemned by human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, which estimates that at least 5,000 people were killed.

Raisi defended his actions during this period, stating, “If a judge, a prosecutor, has defended the security of the people, he should be praised … I am proud to have defended human rights in every position I have held so far.”

Cleric to Judiciary Chief

Raisi’s career in the judiciary saw him rise to significant positions of power. Appointed as judiciary chief by Khamenei in 2019, he was also elected deputy chair of the Assembly of Experts, the body responsible for selecting the next supreme leader. His role in the judiciary and his alignment with Khamenei’s policies made him a key figure within Iran’s political establishment.

Raisi’s hardline stance extended beyond domestic policies to international relations. He shared Khamenei’s deep distrust of the West and supported Iran’s strategy of backing proxy forces across the Middle East. This was evident in his response to the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guard officers in Damascus, which led to an unprecedented, albeit largely unsuccessful, aerial bombardment of Israel.

Threatening Israel

Raisi’s rhetoric against Israel was consistent with his hardline approach. Following the attack on Iranian officers, he warned that any Israeli retaliation against Iranian territory could result in the destruction of the “Zionist regime.” His threats reflected the broader tension between Iran and Israel, a cornerstone of his foreign policy.

Early Life and Political Ascent

Born in 1960 in the holy city of Mashhad, Raisi lost his father at a young age but followed in his footsteps to become a cleric. His early education at a religious seminary in Qom and participation in protests against the Shah during the 1979 revolution established his credentials within the religious and political framework of Iran. His connections with influential religious leaders in Qom facilitated his rise within the judiciary, ultimately leading to his appointment as judiciary chief and his election as president.

Raisi’s unexpected death in a helicopter crash, along with Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, marks a significant turning point in Iran’s political landscape. His death leaves a void in the hardline faction and raises questions about the future direction of Iran’s leadership and its domestic and foreign policies.

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