Israel Warns Against Raisi Win, Says He Will Be Islamic Republic’s Most Extreme President Yet
Israel has condemned Iran’s election of Ebrahim Raisi, saying he will be the Islamic Republic’s most extreme president yet who has committed to quickly advancing its disputed nuclear program.
As the favored candidate of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Chief Justice Raisi won 17.9 million of the 28.9 million ballots cast in in Friday’s four-man race, in a record low turn-out of just 48.8% of eligible voters.
Hoping to boost its legitimacy, the Ayatollah regime pushed citizens to participate, but simmering anger over economic hardships and curbs on freedoms kept many Iranians at home. While Khamenei insisted the turnout displayed the clerical establishment‘s popularity, more than half of eligible voters were too dissatisfied or appeared to have heeded calls by hundreds of dissidents, at home and abroad, to boycott the vote, after a hardline election body barred heavyweight moderates and conservatives from competing.
The United States slapped sanctions on Raisi in November 2019 for overseeing the execution of thousands of political dissidents and prisoners in the 1980s and 1990s and during violent suppression of unrest in 2009.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett used the start of his first weekly Cabinet meeting to condemn the election of Iran’s President-Elect, whose whose full name is Sayyid Ebrahim Raisol-Sadati.
“Of all the people that Khamenei could have chosen, he chose the ‘Hangman of Tehran,’ the man infamous among Iranians and across the world for leading the Death Committees, which executed thousands of innocent Iranian citizens throughout the years,” said Bennett.
“A regime of brutal hangmen must never be allowed to have weapons of mass destruction that will enable it to not kill thousands, but millions,” he insisted, speaking in fluent English, stressing that, “Israel’s position will not change on this.”
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that Raisi’s election “is evidence of growing Iranian extremism and aggression.”
“All offensive options are on the table,” stressed Israel’s top defense chief, saying that, “Israel will continue to develop the necessary means to protect itself from any threat…. in tandem with our American friends and all of our partners across the world.”
The Secretary General of the Amnesty International human rights group, Agnès Callamard, called Raisi’s victory “a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran.”
“We continue to call for Ebrahim Raisi to be investigated for his involvement in past and ongoing crimes under international law, including by states that exercise universal jurisdiction,” she added in a statement.