Saturday, 15 June, 2024, Reg No- 06
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No changes in Irans foreign policy likely after Raisis death

Published : Wednesday, 22 May, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 306

Any changes in Iranian foreign policy mainly vis-à-vis its mortal enemy, Israel, in the wake of the death of former president Ebrahim Raisi seem unlikely at least for now within the next 50 days ahead of the presidential elections.

Raisi along with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, also widely known for his fierce anti-Israel stance, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on Monday in the area of the Jolfa region of East Azerbaijan province.

In the absence of Raisi, there would be little policy shift in the Iranian government as it is opined by the experts based on several factors. The first and foremost one is the Iranian governments structure in which major policy decision mostly comes from the Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who has already assigned vice president Mohammad Mokhber to assume interim duties.

Interim president Mokhber has been supposed to lead the government with doing normal day-to-day affairs until the next elected president takes over. This means any major changes internally or externally are quite unlikely unless something serious events take place.   

Raisis less than three-year tenure was an eventful period. After his election as the president in August 2021, Raisi, a hard-line cleric close to Ali Khamenei, consolidated the control of conservatives of the Islamic Republic.

At the fag-end of his rule, Raisi led Iran through a heated standoff with Israel as he was an outspoken leader vehemently condemning Israels continued brutal offensive in Gaza and other Palestinian territories that has claimed at least 35,000 lives since Hamass sudden missile attacks on Israel on 7 October last year.

However, the most intrepid response from the Iranian side during Raisis rule was the direct massive air strikes on Israel on 15 April in retaliation of Israels attack on the Iranian consular building in Damascus in which seven people including a top commander died.

Another significant event that occurred during Raisis period was the possible development of Irans nuclear programme that was facilitated after United States had abruptly withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran during Donald Trumps government.

Displeased by the USs stance towards the nuclear deal and the inability of other signatories to save the pact, a defiant Raisi once announced that Iran was stepping up its nuclear programme, though it has no intention to make nuclear bombs.

Internally, Raisi came under tremendous pressure in late 2022 after the death of Mahsa Amini who was arrested by the morality police for alleged non-compliance with the countrys mandatory hijab rules.  That incident took a serious turn with women taking off and burning their hijabs in mass protests that left over 500 people dead.

We are saddened by the sudden demise of Ebrahim Raisi and hope that Iran would be able to endure and fill the void left by the loss of its renowned leader.  

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