Certified To Be Iran’s President, Raisi Promises Change In The Status Quo
In his speech at President-elect Ebrahim Raisi's [Raeesi] certification ceremony Tuesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei told Raisi, who will be inaugurated Thursday, to fight for the “values of the Islamic Revolution,” to uphold justice, and fight corruption, and to "uncover and remedy previous mistakes."
Khamenei also said Iranians in the June 18 election had given a "decisive response" to "conspiracies made at enemies' policymaking circles" for a poll boycott. He described the election, which had the lowest turnout in any Iranian president poll, as evidence of “religious democracy.”
In his own speech Raisi said Iranians had voted for "change in the status quo" and that he would work for the lifting of “unjust” United States sanctions but not "tie people's subsistence to the will of foreign [powers]." During his election campaign Raisi said he would accept reviving Iran’s 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers, the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) if this was in the Iranian people’s interests.
Raisi said he would follow the path outlined in "Second Step In the Revolution," a statement by Khamenei published in 2019 on the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Revolution. Without naming his predecessor, Raisi criticized previous governments for failures in tackling major issues such as corruption and poverty. Establishing stability in the capital markets and the stock market, would be a priority, he said.
President Hassan Rouhani Sunday blamed principlists, especially in parliament where they hold a majority, for the persistence of US sanctions and the economic hardship they have brought. Rouhani, whose administration negotiated the JCPOA in his first term, has suggested sanctions could have been ended months ago with agreement on reviving the deal.
A few hours later Khamenei's website published a video showing the leader criticizing Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Rouhani in 2012 for proposing talks with the US. While the incident on the tape came just months before Iran began talks with the US in Oman – which led to the JCPOA – its release after nine years has been interpreted by some as expressing Khamenei’s opposition to continuing discussions in Vienna with world powers over reviving the JCPOA, which the US left in 2018. The video was also aired by the state television.
The endorsement ceremony was held at a religious hall, adjacent to Khamenei's residence, named after the founder of Islamic Republic, Ruhollah Khomeini, and where Khamenei usually holds public meetings and seminary lessons. Most high-ranking officials and dignitaries were present but former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, barred from running in the June 18 election, was absent. Former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and former parliament speaker Ali Larijani were not allocated prominent spots during the ceremony.
Raisi will be sworn in at parliament on Thursday August 5. All civilian airports in and around Tehran will close on security grounds during the inauguration, to which foreign dignitaries and envoys are invited. Israel − widely blamed for killing Iranian scientists and attacks on Iranian nuclear sites − on Monday strongly condemned a European Union decision to send Enrique Mora, a senior diplomat, to the inauguration as an example of “flattery and subservience to violent totalitarian regimes.”
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) expressed regret on its Twitter Persian feed that Raisi had become president – apparently confusing the certification with Thursday’s inauguration – noting that he had been “accused of crimes against humanity,” a likely reference to his role in the 1988 execution of prisoners. RSF described Khamenei as one of the world’s leading 36 “predators of press freedom.”