Iran’s hard-line judiciary chief won a landslide victory Saturday in the country’s presidential election, a vote that both propelled the supreme leader’s protégé into Tehran’s highest civilian position. However, the voter turnout was the lowest turnout in the Islamic Republic’s history.
The election of Ebrahim Raisi, already sanctioned by the U.S. in part over his involvement in the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, became more of a coronation after his strongest competition found themselves disqualified from running.
That sparked calls for a boycott and many apparently did stay home — out of over 59 million eligible voters, only 28.9 million voted. Of those voting, some 3.7 million people either accidentally or intentionally voided their ballots, far beyond the amount seen in previous elections and suggesting some wanted none of the four candidates.
“That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran,” Amnesty International’s Secretary-General Agnes Callamard said.
Previous President Hassan Rouhani, who in 2017 dismissed Raisi as an opponent in his re-election as someone only knowing about “executions and imprisoning” people, met the cleric Saturday and congratulated him.
Raisi’s election puts hard-liners firmly in control across the government as negotiations in Vienna continue to try to save a tattered deal meant to limit Iran’s nuclear program, at a time when Tehran is enriching uranium at its highest levels ever, though still short of weapons-grade levels. Tensions remain high with both the U.S. and Israel, which is believed to have carried out a series of attacks targeting Iranian nuclear sites as well as assassinating the scientist who created its military atomic program decades earlier.
I would suggest the election of Raisi moves the world one step closer to the prophesied “end times” war with Israel, the appearance of the Antichrist on the world scene, and the escalating persecution of both Jews and Christians. The good news is:
“Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:28