“In Iran, the death of Ebrahim Raïssi changes nothing”

“In Iran, the death of Ebrahim Raïssi changes nothing”

The news of the death of Ebrahim Raïssi was widely relayed by the media in Western countries. Based on a rumor that the latter has been considered as the successor to Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei, these media are wondering about the opening of a possible period of political uncertainty in Iran. But this reading of the Iranian political situation is erroneous, and the rumor is questionable. The observers who accredit him seem to have little knowledge of Ebrahim Raïssi's career and fail to take into consideration the functioning of the system of velâyat-e motalqeh-ye faqih (omnipotent governance of the religious jurisconsult) designed by Khomeini and implemented by his successor Ali Khamenei in 1989.

In fact, Raïssi did not possess the religious knowledge required to be able to assume the religious function of supreme guide, having undoubtedly only followed the first preparatory cycle of the theological school lasting six years.

Certainly, from the moment Khamenei began to entrust him with positions of high responsibility such as that of head of the judiciary, he was fabricated with the appropriate diplomas and by calling him ayatollah (one of the highest titles awarded to a member of the Shiite clergy) attempts were made to modify his image, but this maneuver had no success either with public opinion or especially with the clergy who had the opportunity to verify his career at the theological school.

A performer who lacked personality

In addition, Raïssi, who from the start of his career within the system at the age of 19 had revealed himself to be a ” excellent “ always willing to obey the orders of his bosses, lacked personality and therefore seemed incapable of deciding for himself. It is for all these reasons that the hypothesis according to which Raisi would have been designated as a possible successor to Khamenei seems seriously questionable to us.

In this sense, his disappearance is a non-event, as evidenced by Khamenei's speech delivered ten hours before the confirmation of Raisi's death, in which he reassures the audience by declaring in a cold tone: “The administration will not be disrupted. » This says a lot about the function and responsibilities actually assumed by a President of the Republic under the Islamic Republic.

The total power of the Supreme Leader

In fact, the system of velâyat-e motalqeh-ye faqih grants the supreme leader total power. He is the head of state and as such determines the country's domestic and foreign policy. He has control over both the multiple non-elective institutions and the elective ones. Moreover, since the fraudulent presidential election of June 2009 which provoked a wave of post-election protest (the Green Movement), Khamenei has opted for the tightening of power and, by granting supremacy to divine sovereignty, has trampled on sovereignty. popular.

This mutation of the Islamic Republic, which then became a theocratic state, led to the radicalization of the regime – a radicality which can be read through the global project of total domination implemented by the guide with the help of the “Center for Islamic and Iranian model of progress”, a laboratory of ideas that he himself created in 2011. It is also very probably on the advice of this Center that the guide succeeded in neutralizing the “reformists” and to emerge strengthened from internal battles to the point of once again establishing itself as the undisputed and indisputable master of the country.

Since then, the political game of factions has ceased to have any meaning; the machine has been perfectly fine-tuned to prohibit any production of meaning, any alternative and any potential for transformation and openness internally, even though the supreme guide has continued to exploit this political game to use it in a strategic logic relating to the internal and foreign policies of the Islamic Republic.

Very hypothetical analyzes

Thus, ignoring this significant change in the regime, in recent days we have been given hypothetical analyzes this time evoking the quarrels and rivalries between “radicals” and “very radicals” – as they are called in the West – for predict the configuration of the early presidential election scheduled for June 28, 2024.

But the system is opaque, and we have to wait for the accreditation of the candidates by the Supervisory Council to guess who the guide will choose to replace Raïssi, although the election of Mahdavi Kermani, a 94-year-old loyalist of the guide, to the head of the Assembly of Experts (the body responsible for appointing, supervising and possibly dismissing the supreme leader) and the provisional appointment of Ali Bagheri, the chief negotiator of the Iranian nuclear file, at the head of foreign affairs for replacing Amir Abodlahian who died alongside Raïssi in the helicopter crash, send signals that darken the near and distant horizon. They indeed attest to the firm determination of the Supreme Leader to follow the guidelines drawn up by the Center for the Islamic and Iranian Model of Progress, which consist of leading Iranians towards a new Islamic-Iranian civilization over the next five decades.

It is important that the media and especially Western leaders take this into account and that no credence is given to these idle speculations about the future of Iran. As long as the Islamic Republic and the system of velâyat-e motalqeh-ye faqih – with or without Khamenei – are in place, Iranians will continue to face repression and the region will not know peace.

Marie Ladier-Fouladi notably published The Islamic Republic of Iran seen from the insideÉditions du Croquant, November 2020.

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