Iran to swear in on new president as unease grows over nuclear deal
For the first time in years, all branches of power in Iran are on the verge of falling under the control of hardliners when a protégé of the Supreme Leader takes the oath of office as president, strengthening their power and adding to the Growing unease that the Islamic Republic’s relations with the West could worsen.
President-elect Ebrahim Raisi, 60, studied in his youth at one of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s Islamic seminars. He was also part of a panel that ordered the execution of thousands of political prisoners. He later rose through the ranks to lead the Iranian judicial system.
His inauguration Thursday, after an election in which most of his rivals were disqualified, is expected to consolidate the power of die-hard followers of Mr. Khamenei, just as Iran and the West try to revive a deal that limits Tehran’s nuclear capabilities.
This is expected to be a significant change from the past three decades. Recent Iranian presidents, regardless of their political orientation, have often set their own political priorities, although the Supreme Leader has always had the final say on vital state issues, such as the nuclear program.
Analysts say Mr. Khamenei, 82, appears to be instead focusing on reducing internal feuds and preserving what he sees as the tenets of the 1979 Islamic Revolution as he ages and the Iranian economy hit by sanctions is under increasing pressure.