Monday, June 17, 2024
HomeEditorial - National Council of Resistance of IranEditorial: The Aftermath of Ebrahim Raisi’s Death: A Turning Point for Iran

Editorial: The Aftermath of Ebrahim Raisi’s Death: A Turning Point for Iran

Iran Protests February 7 2023 696x391 1
File photo-Iran Protests February 7, 2023

The sudden death of Ebrahim Raisi, the regime’s President, has sent seismic ripples through the nation’s ruling regime. Raisi, deeply trusted by the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei due to his key role in the 1988 massacre, was integral to consolidating Khamenei’s power. His demise represents a devastating strategic blow to Khamenei, shaking the very foundations of the regime and evoking memories of the final days of the Shah’s rule.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the NCRI, in response to Raisi’s death, described it as an irreparable strategic blow to Khamenei and the regime, notorious for its executions and massacres. She emphasized that this event could ignite a series of crises within the theocratic system, mobilizing rebellious youths and opposition groups into action. Mrs. Rajavi honored the victims of the 1988 massacre, reiterating the NCRI’s commitment to seeking justice and overthrowing the regime.

Khamenei had meticulously invested in Raisi, sidelining many influential figures within the regime,  and centralizing power around Raisi’s presidency. This strategy was aimed at creating a monolithic power structure to prevent people’s uprising. With Raisi’s sudden death, Khamenei’s efforts have been undone, intensifying internal divisions and igniting unrest in society.  The current state of the regime is a reminiscence of the final phase of the Shah’s dictatorship.

According to Article 131 of the Iranian constitution, “the first vice president assumes the powers and responsibilities with the approval of the leadership, and a council consisting of the speaker of the parliament, the head of the judiciary, and the first vice president is obliged to arrange for a new president to be elected within a maximum period of 50 days.”

This situation is precisely what Khamenei has tried to avoid for years by engineering elections and eliminating his closest allies. It sets the stage for a fierce power struggle among the regime’s top ranks. Moreover, this situation not only intensifies internal conflicts but also creates a favorable environment for public protests and uprisings.

Ebrahim Raisi, notorious because of his involvement in the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, mostly supporters of the PMOI, and 1500 killed during the 2019 uprising, has led to widespread public relief at his death. This event has significantly boosted the morale of the people and the families of the regime’s victims, marking a critical juncture that could catalyze a new wave of protests against the regime. The regime, anticipating this unrest, has mobilized repressive forces to maintain control. However, societal discontent is so profound that it may only be a matter of time before larger and more radical protests erupt, potentially surpassing the 2022 uprisings.

Khamenei now faces a critical decision: he must either retreat from the path he was pursuing with Raisi or double down on his existing strategies of suppression and consolidation of power. The latter path, which he is most likely to take, involves increasing repression, eliminating more regime insiders, escalating terrorism and warmongering in the region, and potentially accelerating nuclear weapons development. This approach may temporarily stave off internal collapse, but it will undoubtedly ignite more uprisings in an already volatile society and ultimately lead to the regime’s downfall.

Iran stands at a critical juncture. The death of Ebrahim Raisi is more than the loss of a single figure; it symbolizes the regime’s vulnerability and the growing potential for transformative change. The coming weeks and months are likely to witness significant upheavals as the regime grapples with internal power struggles and a reinvigorated opposition. Khamenei’s position as the strategic loser becomes increasingly apparent as he faces the daunting task of maintaining control amidst mounting challenges.