TEHRAN: Iran’s ultraconservative Ebrahim Raisi will be inaugurated on Tuesday as the new president of the Islamic republic, a country mired in deep economic crisis and hit by crippling US sanctions.
He replaces moderate president Hassan Rouhani, whose landmark achievement was the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.
Raisi, 60, will have to tackle the nuclear talks aimed at reviving the deal from which the US unilaterally withdrew.
Two days after Tuesday’s inauguration by the Islamic republic’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Raisi will take the oath before parliament.
He won June’s election when more than half the voters stayed away after many political heavyweights were barred from standing.
A former judiciary chief, Raisi has been criticized by the West for his human rights record.
Iran’s economic problems, exacerbated by the American sanctions, will be the new president’s greatest challenge, according to Clement Therme, a researcher at the European University Institute in Italy.
“His main objective will be to improve the economic situation by reinforcing the Islamic republic’s economic relations with neighboring countries,” Therme told the Media.
“The goal would be to build a business model that would protect Iran’s economic growth from American policies and decisions.”
Therme believes Raisi’s main priority will be to “remove US sanctions” so Iran can bolster trade with its neighbors and non-Western countries such as China and Russia. It is pertinent to mention here that Raisi won 62 percent of the votes counted so far, election office chairman Jamal Orf said later on state television as the count continued, with no turnout figures released yet.
The 60-year-old ultraconservative Ebrahim Raisi takes over from Rouhani in August, 2021 as Iran seeks to salvage its tattered nuclear deal with major powers and free itself from punishing US sanctions that have driven a sharp economic downturn.
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