Raisi, the Butcher of Iran, participated in killing 30,000 political prisoners in Iran

What Raisi’s Death Means for Iran, the World

By Ken Blackwell, Originally published in Townhall, May 22, 2024

Last weekend, the Iranian regime was thrust into turmoil with the deaths of President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Amir Hossein Abdollahian in a helicopter crash in Iran. This represents a significant setback for Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who now faces an intensified crisis and a more precarious grip on power.

Khamenei had orchestrated Raisi’s rise to power in 2021, eliminating even loyal stalwarts within his own factions to ensure Raisi’s election. Raisi was not just a figurehead. He was known for his unwavering obedience to Khamenei. His death now leaves a vacuum that will be exceedingly difficult to fill, as finding someone who combines absolute loyalty and ruthlessness will be a daunting task for Khamenei.

Raisi’s background is marked by his role in some of the regime’s most brutal crackdowns. As Tehran’s Deputy Prosecutor during the 1988 massacre, Raisi played a key role in the execution of thousands of political prisoners, most of whom were members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK). His rapid rise through the ranks was a testament to his effectiveness in enforcing the regime’s most brutal crimes against humanity. From overseeing mass executions to his tenure as head of Astan Quds Razavi and later as judiciary chief, Raisi epitomized the regime’s genocidal actions.

Khamenei sought to consolidate power through a monolithic structure capable of withstanding both internal dissent and external pressures. Raisi was seen as the ideal candidate to purge dissenters and ensure absolute obedience to Khamenei’s vision. Many regime loyalists were purged to pave the way for Raisi’s ascent, highlighting the lengths to which Khamenei went to secure his position. READ MORE

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