The mullahs weakened, the people’s struggle continues

The death of President Raissi on 19 May in a helicopter crash will not really affect the way the Islamic Republic operates. In the current institutional system, the real power is held by the Leader, who decides on the main policy directions. The President is merely number 2, an executor. By Babak Kia.


That said, Raissi was tipped to succeed the ailing 85-year-old Leader Ali Khamenei. From this point of view, his death weakens Mullaharchy. It will inflame tensions within the clans that share power and wealth and open the way for future popular uprisings.

Raissi’s death was certainly the subject of a staged national mourning by the authorities. The regime is hastily going to elect a new president on 28 June. But what is important to remember are the spontaneous celebrations that erupted when Raissi’s death was announced. From Tehran to Saqez in Kurdistan (Jina Mahsa Amini’s home town), the population expressed their joy more or less openly, in the absence of any chance of judging Raissi for his crimes.

The “Butcher of Tehran”

Raissi’s CV goes a long way towards explaining the public’s detestation of him and the Islamic Republic. In the 1980s, Raissi was deputy public prosecutor in Tehran. Under Khomeini’s orders, he led the crackdown and had around ten thousand political prisoners executed at the end of the war against Iraq.

The regime’s aim was to eliminate any possibility of dissent and eradicate the militant generation that had opposed the Shah’s dictatorship but also rejected the dictatorship of the Islamic Republic. A deputy prosecutor but also an executioner, Raissi was denounced by survivors of this bloody wave as the man who killed opponents with his own hands. His role in the executions of 1988 earned him the nickname of the “Butcher of Tehran”.

More recently, under his tenure as President of the Republic, he reactivated the vice squad. He bears direct responsibility for the harassment of women, the death of Jina Mahssa Amini and the violent repression of the “Woman Life Freedom” uprising. He has also imprisoned and tortured trade union leaders, environmentalists, human rights activists, women’s rights activists, children’s rights activists and artists. His economic and social record is disastrous. Hit by inflation of 70%, almost 60% of the population lives below the poverty line. At the same time, the regime’s leaders, the Guardians of the Revolution and their relatives have become extremely wealthy.

Solidarity from World Leaders

It is easy to understand why no one is mourning Raissi’s death… no one except the dignitaries of the regime, their regional allies, some of whom are absurdly and criminally camp, but also the leaders of certain European states or states in the region who, following the example of Turkey, have offered their assistance in the hope of finding Raissi alive. Even NATO offered its condolences… When it comes to saving a head of state, world leaders show solidarity, despite their differences.

But in Iran, no one forgets that these same regional and European leaders are never in a hurry when it comes to saving the thousands of Iranians who have fallen victim to natural disasters or to the regime itself. Nobody forgets the criminal migration policy of the European Union, which refuses asylum to those fleeing the dictatorship.

In their struggle against the Islamic Republic, the people of Iran are relying solely on their own strength and on international solidarity from below.

Translated by International Viewpoint from l’Anticapitaliste.

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