Insider news & Analysis in Iran

By INU Staff 

INU - In Iran’s presidential elections, scheduled to be held on May 19th, one of the many candidates is Ebrahim Raisi, currently heading the economic giant Astan Quds Razavi that enjoys significant influence over large swathes of Iran’s economy.

Raisi was born in 1960 in the city of Mashhad in northeast Iran where he continued his early education until 1975 when he transferred to the city of Qom to begin his religious studies.

Following the 1979 revolution in Iran he was appointed into government posts while continuing his higher education. He is known to have taught religious studies and from 1991 he participated in classes held by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for 15 years.

Raisi first began his work in the judiciary after 1979 when he joined a class in Tehran of 70 other clerics seeking to work for the government. In the early days Raisi accompanied the envoy of Iranian regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini to the city of Masjed Suleiman in western Iran, from where he went on to be appointed as a public prosecutor in Karaj, west of Tehran.

Two years later, while maintaining his previous post, he was also appointed as the public prosecutor in the city of Hamedan, western Iran. In 1984 he was transferred to Tehran and appointed as the capital’s deputy public prosecutor.

Years later, after gaining Khomeini’s personal attention, he was appointed as a member of the “Death Commission” tasked to supervise the 1988 massacre of thousands of political prisoner.

Following Khomeini’s death, Ebrahim Raisi was appointed as Tehran’s public prosecutor where he served the regime for five years until 1994. From there on he assumed the position of the regime’s general inspector until 2004, and moved on to serve as the judiciary’s first deputy until 2014. Continuing his climb up the regime’s ranks, he was appointed also as the prosecutor in the regime’s Special Clerics Court and went on to become Iran’s chief public prosecutor in 2014.

Following the death of Abbas Vaez-Tabasi, on March 7th, 2016 Khamenei appointed Raisi as head of the Astan Quds Razavi economic hub.

Ebrahim Raisi’s Role in “Death Commission” and 1988 massacre

In 1988, Khomeini’s deputy Ayatollah Montazeri described Raisi (then Tehran’s deputy public prosecutor) along with Morteza Eshraghi (a judge in Tehran’s Evin Prison), Hossein Ali Nayeri (Tehran’s public prosecutor) and Mostafa Pour Mohammadi (then representative of the Ministry of Intelligence and now Iran’s Minister of Justice) as perpetrators in “the execution of political prisoners in (summer of 1988)”. 

The names of the first two individuals have been stated in Khomeini’s fatwa ordering the purge.To this day Resii has refused to make any public comments in this regard.

Over 30,000 political prisoners, mainly members and supporters of the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) were executed in a span of a mere few months.

Other managing and political posts

Khomeini was known to mission Raisi to a variety of different special judiciary missions across the country. Ebrahim Raisi was also appointed by Khamenei as a member of board of clerics in the "Setad Ejraiye Farmane Hazrate Emam" – Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam, supervising the supreme leader’s assets.

He also served as the Iranian regime’s first secretariat of the so-called “Headquarters of the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,” a body that is associated with human rights and civil liberties abuses.

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