Monday , June 21 2021

If Iran’s Khamenei were to step down, who would replace him?

Over the past six years since Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei underwent surgery for his prostate, there has been much speculation about who might replace the 81-year-old if he dies or becomes too sick to continue in rule. , an Iranian dissident reporter said that Khamenei may have transferred power to his son, Mojtaba Hosseini Khamenei, 51, amid concerns over his deteriorating health. Could this be Iran’s regime change for the first time since 1989? And, if so, who will most likely take over after Khamenei on a permanent basis? First, Ali Khamenei has survived much speculation that his ill health has finished him – since 2014. Likewise, there have been many periods of speculation in the past year about North Korea’s much younger leader, Kim Jong-un, falling ill, including that he already died. But then he’ll be back in the public eye in a few days or weeks, probably at least Khamenei is sick, but the lesson from him and Kim’s past is that until the supreme leader dies, he can’t be counted.

If Khamenei was to finally leave, Mojtaba was definitely a candidate. He wields significant strength in his father’s circle and in trying to keep the different major powerhouses in the country divided, He may even get the support of Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a state within a state in the Islamic Republic. as a hardliner on Western matters. However, it is highly unlikely that he will be favored by the country’s Council of Experts, which is dominated by ayatollahs with religious expertise. Mojtaba doesn’t have the same skills.
ACCORDING to the Iranian constitution, the ayatollahs elect his successor, and Khamenei is not a king who can simply hand over that role to his son. The head of the Iranian court, Ebrahim Raisi, will probably be ayatollah’s favorite. In August 2019, there was a surge in speculation about Raisi emerging as a prime candidate to replace Khamenei, wrote Iranian expert Raz Zimmt. Like Mojtaba, Raisi is seen as a hardline and there will be major implications for the US and Israel if he replaces Khamenei as the opponent of some of the more reform-minded candidates. Zimmt said that since Raisi’s appointment as head of court in March 2019, the conservative cleric has expanded its efforts to advance changes in the legal system, enhance its public image and improve its media This will always be important for someone like Raisi, who is on the short list to replace the octogen’s leader. But the new marketing efforts, and the fact that Khamenei publicly supports these endeavors, takes on even greater significance when seen in the light of Raisi’s defeat of President Hassan Rouhani in the May 2017 presidential election with 23 million to 16 million votes. Khamenei’s message seems clear: he doesn’t care if Raisi loses to Rouhani: He wants Raisi as his successor or at least wants to continue promoting him as a leader figure. Zimmt noted that “it is too early to judge Raisi’s chances of winning the battle of succession for the Iranian leadership, which will certainly be influenced by the timing of Khamenei’s departure from the political map. “However, he added that” Raisi’s closeness to the supreme leader; experience in judicial authority; his tenure as chairman of the Astan Quds Razavi Foundation and the Imam Reza Temple in Mashhad; and his hardline position – despite his increasing efforts to enhance his public reputation – make him a prime candidate at this stage in the succession battle. “
RAISI WAS was born in December 1960 in the city of Mashhad. Since the early 1980s, he has filled a number of positions in the justice system, including the Tehran prosecutor, the head of the judicial authority’s General Inspection Office, the first deputy chief of the judiciary and Iranian lawyer-general. In 2016, he was appointed by the Supreme Leader as chairman of the Astan Quds Razavi Foundation in Mashhad, which according to Zimmt is a strong foundation that controls significant Islamic faith, various assets and a large budget. post, Raisi served as a member of the Beneficiary Council, and as deputy chair of the Panel of Experts, responsible for overseeing the activities of the Supreme Leader, appointing a successor, and even potentially removing him from office if he was found unfit to continue Shortly after he became head of the court, Raisi announced changes, including achieving greater efficiency. Zimmt said that Raisi put the fight against corruption above. For example, he dismissed dozens of judges accused of corruption. In addition, Raisi announced that it would reduce the number of bank accounts it had and would issue an annual report. This seems to be an attempt to differentiate itself from its predecessors. , Sadeq Larijani, who is suspected of having more than 60 bank accounts with funds from residents who have cases in court, wrote Zimmt. Additionally, Raisi worked to increase his media exposure and improve his public image, especially after his election defeat to Rouhani. came out “as a boring candidate without charisma, who is having a hard time compensating for his lack of political experience,” Zimmt said.
IN JUNE 2019, Raisi published an unusual post on his Instagram account, asking Iranians to contact him via his personal social media accounts to suggest needed improvements to the justice system. Zimmt wrote that, “this initiative was warmly received, especially by professionals. media reform, which expresses hope that this will lead to a reexamination of the current social network blocking policies, and will strengthen public confidence in the justice system. Likewise, in the same month, Iranian media published images showing Raisi traveling for work in the Tehran metro, apparently to reinforce his image as a simple and simple lifestyle. He gave extensive media interviews during Judiciary Week. Raisi had problems with Iran’s reformist camps because of his involvement in the mass executions of political prisoners in 1988, said Zimmt. President Rouhani himself hinted at Raisi’s past, Iranian experts noted, when he stated in one of his election speeches that Iranians no longer want someone who spent 38 years imprisoning and executing them. To overcome this, Zimmt said that Raisi has issued a number of statements about improving the status of women in the country. Khamenei, Raisi has become a public skeptic of the 2015 nuclear deal and is deeply aligned with the hardline Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
OTHER NAMES appointed together with Raisi and Mojtaba include Rouhani and Raisi’s predecessor who ran the judiciary, Sadeq Larijani. Despite being a strong member of the formation, Rouhani is seen as more open to the West than Khamenei or Raisi and more inclined to try to defuse crises and confrontations rather than exacerbate them. But Rouhani has lost face over the past two years since Trump. administration withdrew from the nuclear deal. He will stand a better chance if Khamenei recovers and Rouhani manages to strike a new deal with the Biden government. Zimmt wrote in 2019 that a member of the Panel of Experts, senior cleric Mohsen Araki, confirmed in an interview with the Fars news agency that a three-member committee held a secret list of potential candidates to replace Khamenei if the need arose to replace the aging leader. after his reign of 30 years. This list could also include dark horse candidates from ayatollah or from the IRGC. So part of the question is whether Iran continues to be led by clerics, or the IRGC security apparatus is carrying out some kind of coup, and moving the country into a true police-state era. Of course, Khamenei may be rumored in the coming days or weeks, but at 81, speculation will continue.

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