Iran News

The Wondrous Life and Strong Policies of President Ebrahim Raisi

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was recently killed in a helicopter disaster. He was the people’s president, constantly working for his citizens’ best interests. Raisi has been mourned by many world leaders and over a million Iranians.
Ebrahim Raisi

Tehran, Iran – May 22, 2024: Ebrahim Raisi, president of Iran, Amir Abdollahian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, and two others on a billboard after their death in a helicopter crash near Tabriz.

June 12, 2024 05:55 EDT

The Bell 212 helicopter tragedy on May 19, 2024, killed several important political figures: Iranian President Sayyid Ehrahin Raisi-Sadati, aka Ebrahim Raisi; foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian; Governor of East Azerbaijan Malek Rahmati; and Supreme Leader Representative Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashim. The head of the president’s security team, two pilots and a flight crew also perished. The preliminary investigation showed “no evidence of foul play or attack.” Poor weather caused the accident, as fog impaired the pilot’s visibility.

The day after the crash, on May 20, Raisi was pronounced dead. I wish to honor the president’s passing by presenting his most valuable contributions to Iranian society. Such a hard-working, influential man deserves nothing less.

Raisi’s life and achievements

Ebrahim Raisi was born in Mashhad, Iran in 1960. He lost his father at age 5, causing his family to struggle financially. At age 15, he joined the seminary in the city of Qum. At age 20, he joined Iran’s new judiciary following the conclusion of Iran’s 1979 Revolution. In 1983, he married Jamileh Alamalhoda, daughter of Mashad’s Friday prayer Imam Ahmad Alamolhoda. They had two daughters together.

From here, he was appointed to several important positions. In 1988, he stood as a member of a judicial committee overseeing political prisoners, including the members of the Mujahideen-e Khalq terror organization. A year later, he became the prosecutor of Iran’s capital city of Tehran. In 2004, he was appointed as first deputy chief justice. In 2006, he was elected to the Assembly of Experts, a clerical body appointing the Supreme Leader. In 2012, Raisi earned his PhD in law from Shahid Motahari University. He was appointed Prosecutor General of Iran in 2014 and chair of the Astan Quds Razavi, one of Iran’s biggest religious endowments, in 2016.

His political career did not stop there. Raisi ran in the 2017 presidential election as a critic of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The incumbent president Hassan Rouhani, who invested much of his reelection campaign in the JCPOA, ultimately won. In 2019, Raisi was appointed as Iran’s chief justice. He ran again in the 2020 presidential election and won in 2021. He earned 62% of the popular vote, though the turnout was around 49%. This was over three years after US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA.

Finally, on May 19, 2024, Raisi died in the aforementioned helicopter crash in the mountainous region of Azerbaijan. His funeral processes were held in Tabriz, Tehran, Ray, Qum and Mashhad, with over a million attendees.

Raisi was the people’s president. He worked seven days a week, traveling across the country, visiting every province and talking to people from all walks of life. He sat with villagers as if he were one of them, listening and trying to address their issues. In government, he developed positive relations with Iran’s judicial and legislative branches. He enjoyed good relations with the military and religious authorities.

Raisi took the focus away from Iran’s unsuccessful approach with the West, instead turning attention to neighboring countries and the East. He improved relations with Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Uzbekistan. In particular, he solidified Iran’s friendship with Russia and China. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman speaking on behalf of Chinese President Xi Jinping said Raisi made “positive efforts to consolidate and expand the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Iran.”

In February 2023, Raisi finalized the 25-year “strategic cooperation pact,” with China. The two countries signed numerous other bilateral cooperation documents. In April 2023, Raisi led Iran to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a Eurasian political, economic and security organization. He led Iran to sign an agreement with Iraq to construct a railway from the Iranian city of Shalamcheh to the Iraqi city of Basra.

In May 2023, Raisi signed an agreement with Russia to build a 170-kilometer railway connecting the Iranian city of Rasht to the Azerbaijani city of Astara. In November 2023, a month after the October 7 Hamas terror attack on Gaza and Israel’s barbaric response to it, Raisi participated in a Saudi summit. This meeting condemned Israel’s war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza.

In January 2024, Raisi led Iran to join Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), an intergovernmental organization promoting non-interference, equality and collaboration. In May 2024, he signed several agreements with Pakistan to strengthen “bilateral relations across political, economic, trade, and cultural domains.” That included increasing the bilateral trade to $10 billion.

During Raisi’s tenure, Iran increased its crude oil exports from 0.6 million barrels per day in June 2021 to over 1.6 million in April 2024. The country achieved this over 200% increase despite the draconian sanctions the US implemented in 2018.

Official condolences from world leaders

Iran was showered with condolences from countries worldwide honoring Raisi and the other officials. “I send condolences upon the deaths of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and all who perished in yesterday’s helicopter crash,” Pope Francis wrote to Iran’s Supreme Leader.

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim was “deeply saddened” by Raisi’s passing. “His dedication to justice, peace, and the upliftment of the ummah [the Islamic community] was truly inspiring. We committed ourselves to bolstering Malaysia-Iran relations, working together for the betterment of our peoples and the Muslim world. Our pledge will be fulfilled,” Ibrahim said.

Even the US, Iran’s worst adversary, sent Iran a message regarding his death: “As Iran selects a new president, we reaffirm our support for the Iranian people and their struggle for human rights and fundamental freedoms,” Department of State spokesman Matthew Miller said.

Iran declared five days of mourning for Raisi and the other officials’ deaths. Lebanon and Syria followed with three days while India and Iraq took one. On May 21, the UN lowered its flag to half-mast in honor of the late president. The UN Security Council atomic watchdog observed a minute of silence to honor him.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres and members of the Security Council extended “sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and to the Government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Iran’s policy will not change

Iran’s democracy must continue without Raisi. According to Article 131 of the Iranian Constitution, “The Council…is obliged to arrange for a new President to be elected within a maximum period of fifty days.” Iran has already scheduled the popular presidential election for June 28.

The deaths of Raisi and others will not alter Iran’s foreign policy. After such large public attendance at his funerals in five different cities, any loyal follower is obliged to enforce his policies: to strengthen relations with neighboring countries, collaborate further with China and Russia and support oppressed people worldwide. Specifically, Iran would continue supporting the oppressed Palestinians until they can restore Palestine.
Raisi was a great man. We must never forget nor devalue his policies that brought our world one step closer to peace.

[Lee Thompson-Kolar edited this piece.]

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.


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