Iran’s Presidential Race: Who Is Ultra-Conservative Favourite Ebrahim Raisi?

Iran’s Presidential Race: Who Is Ultra-Conservative Favourite Ebrahim Raisi?

This 60-year-old traditionalist cleric is a close ally of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose confidence he has gained over the years by holding key positions of power.

Andrew H. Sweet
  • Ultra-conservative Raisi is one of just seven contenders left in the race, including five conservatives, who have been authorized by the Iranian election control body to run for the presidential election on June 18.
  • An unsuccessful candidate in the 2017 election against Hassan Rohani, Mr. Raisi is returning to the forefront of the Iranian political scene this time with new momentum behind him, strengthened by the 38 percent of votes he obtained during the previous election against the now-outgoing president.
  • Mr. Raisi is a trusted confidant of Khamenei, who was one of his seminary instructors. Although he wears a turban, Raisa is not an ayatollah; he is a Hujjat al-Islam, a lower rank of the Shiite clergy.
  • He was recently elected vice-president of the Assembly of Experts, the body responsible for proposing a new supreme leader in the event of the death of Khamenei.

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