Who is Ebrahim Raïssi, the Iranian president, nowhere to be found after a helicopter accident?

Who is Ebrahim Raïssi, the Iranian president, nowhere to be found after a helicopter accident?
Who is Ebrahim Raïssi, the Iranian president, nowhere to be found after a helicopter accident?

Intense searches are still underway this Sunday, May 19 to find the damaged helicopter which transported the Iranian president. Considered ultraconservative, Ebrahim Raïssi had supported the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas since October 7.

The search was still underway late Sunday in northwest Iran to find the helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raïssi and which was the victim of an “accident,” according to officials and state media. .

Having presented himself as the champion of the disadvantaged classes and the fight against corruption, Ebrahim Raïssi was elected on June 18, 2021 in the first round of a vote marked by a record abstention for a presidential election, and the absence of competitors weight. He succeeded the moderate Hassan Rouhani, who beat him in the 2017 presidential election and could no longer run again after two consecutive terms.

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Raïssi emerged strengthened from the legislative elections held in March and mid-May, the first national election since the protest movement which shook Iran at the end of 2022 following the death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman arrested for non-compliance with the strict dress code of the Islamic Republic. The Iranian president then welcomed “a new historic failure inflicted on Iran’s enemies after the riots” of 2022.

Parliament, which will take office on May 27, will be largely under the control of the conservative and ultraconservative camps, which support his government.

In recent months, Ebrahim Raïssi has presented himself as a resolute adversary of Israel, the sworn enemy of the Islamic Republic, by supporting the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas since October 7.

He thus justified the unprecedented attack launched by Iran on April 13 against Israel, with 350 drones and missiles, most of which were intercepted with the help of the United States and several other allied countries.

Raïssi is on the American blacklist of Iranian officials sanctioned for “complicity in serious human rights violations”, accusations dismissed as null and void by the authorities in Tehran.

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Born in November 1960 in the holy Shiite city of Mashhad (north-east), Ebrahim Raïssi rose through the ranks of the judicial system for three decades, after being appointed prosecutor general of Karaj, near Tehran, at just 20 years old, in the following the victory of the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

He then served as Tehran’s prosecutor general from 1989 to 1994, then deputy head of the Judicial Authority from 2004 to 2014, the year he was appointed as the country’s attorney general.

In 2016, Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei placed him at the head of the powerful Astan-é Quds Razavi charitable foundation, which manages the mausoleum of Imam-Réza in Mashhad as well as an immense industrial and real estate heritage. Three years later, he became head of the Judicial Authority.

Without much charisma and always wearing a black “seyyed” turban (descendant of Mohammed), Raïssi, with a salt-and-pepper beard and thin glasses, followed Ayatollah Khamenei’s courses in religion and Islamic jurisprudence.

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Married to Jamileh Alamolhoda, professor of educational sciences at Chahid-Béhechti University in Tehran, with whom he had two daughters who graduated from higher education, Ebrahim Raïssi is the son-in-law of Ahmad Alamolhoda, imam of prayer and provincial representative of the Guide in Mashhad, Iran’s second city.

No doubt aware that he had to try to bring together an Iranian society divided on the question of individual freedoms, he pledged during the 2021 electoral campaign to be the defender of “freedom of expression” and “fundamental rights of all Iranian citizens.

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