Wednesday , 12 June 2024

Raisi’s Death Stirs Uncertainty in Iran’s Political Landscape, Group

Iranwire – The death of President Ebrahim Raisi has injected an unwelcome element of uncertainty into the Islamic Republic, the International Crisis Group said.

“If there is one thing that the Islamic Republic’s leadership has been seeking in recent years, even at the cost of further undermining its public legitimacy, it is the elimination of political surprises,” the group said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Engineering elections that elevated the most loyal adherents to the revolutionary cause, thereby consolidating ultra-conservative dominance over all centers of power, became an increasingly exclusionary process aimed at securing stability at the top.

“In this context, the death of Ebrahim Raisi on 19 May has injected an unwelcome element of uncertainty that it will quickly try to temper, both in the immediate context of a presidential contest scheduled for 28 June and against the backdrop of a succession debate in which his name was often mentioned,” it added.

Meanwhile, Iranians gathered in the northwestern city of Tabriz on Tuesday to mourn during the funeral procession of President Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash in the nearby mountains on Sunday.

The president’s body will tour the country in the coming days. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, also announced a five-day mourning period.

A hardliner, Raisi had been in office since 2021, a period marked by mass protests against the repression of women in Iran.

Iran has announced an inquiry into the causes of the crash.

Speculation within the Islamic Republic points to potential sabotage and technical failure possibly linked to Western sanctions.

Iran’s former foreign minister has blamed the fatal helicopter crash on US sanctions on aviation parts.

Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that these punitive measures had hindered Tehran’s access to modern aircraft and prevented necessary repairs to its ageing fleet of American-made aircraft.