Raisi vowed to restore “trust” to the disillusioned Iranian public

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Iran’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, will take power this week. At that time, the Islamic Republic was facing huge challenges. The recent protests caused by water and electricity shortages have shaken it and are preparing to resume relations with global powers. More negotiations on the nuclear agreement.

Raisi is a 60-year-old hard-line political veteran and is presumed to be the successor to the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He won in June the lowest voter turnout of any presidential election since the theocracy in 1979 Victory, and only after his worst competitor was excluded from the game.

After the elections, he admitted that the country’s political elite had “damaged public trust,” although he hinted that the outgoing centrist President Hassan Rouhani was responsible for this disillusionment. Rouhani signed a nuclear agreement with the United States and other major powers in 2015, just to get the then U.S. President Donald Trump to abandon it and re-impose sanctions in 2018.

Raisi said that this waning trust can be “repaired” by focusing on domestic rather than seeking foreign aid. He said: “It is possible to reform the current situation.”

However, in Israel on Sunday accused Tehran of participating in the suspected Thursday night Drone attack Two crew members were killed on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman. The ship named Mercer Street is related to an Israeli billionaire. Iran denies involvement.

Since Iran is in the midst of its worst drought in decades, and power shortages have hit an economy that has been ravaged by inflation, sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic, analysts doubt it is possible to reverse the situation quickly. Only 3% of Iranians have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

“The situation in the country is very tense and Raisi must make very fast and serious decisions on urgent issues such as inflation and vaccination to show a winning card and buy time until a major decision is made on the nuclear agreement and sanctions,” Said analyst Saeed Laylaz.

“But we haven’t seen any initiative after Raisi wins that he will be able to determine some important things within his first 100 days.”

Vienna talks

One of his biggest challenges is not in Iran, but in Vienna, where negotiations on the nuclear agreement will resume when the Lai Si government takes office. Tehran is negotiating with world powers, and the United States is indirectly involved.

Raisi has made it clear that he wants to improve relations with neighboring countries, not with the Western world. “In order to help establish sustainable security and regional stability, the solution is for regional countries to cooperate on the basis of mutual trust and not allow outsiders to interfere. [western] Troops in the area,” he said.

So far, hardliners have refused to make any promises about the outcome of the negotiations and are more willing to focus on domestic priorities. One of the politicians, Hamid-Reza Taraghi (Hamid-Reza Taraghi) listed the new government’s top priority as curbing 44.2% of inflation, removing barriers to domestic industrial production, solving hydropower shortages, and solving budget deficits. problem.

But reformist analysts questioned how Raisi could do this while sanctions banning oil exports and other commercial transactions still exist. Taraji has said that the government must find a way to “circumvent sanctions,” which suggests that an agreement may not be reached.

protest

One of Raisi’s most pressing challenges is to calm tensions in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, which has Iran’s largest oil and gas reserves.

The recent protests have been driven by demand for water for farmland and livestock. Raisi was alleged to be a member of the committee that executed thousands of dissidents in the 1980s, but was not a target of protesters.

Despite this, demonstrators still chanted anti-government slogans such as “Down with the dictator” and “Neither Gaza nor Lebanon; I live for Iran.” A regime that came to power through street protests usually suppressed demonstrations. Amnesty International said that so far, at least eight people have been killed in Khuzestan. Officials have confirmed the deaths of three civilians and a policeman. Solidarity protests also occurred in the northwestern city of Tabriz, and protests against power shortages also occurred in Tehran.

Due to the government’s energy saving, a shopkeeper in Tehran studied his mobile phone after a power outage © Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The regime tried to increase water supply to Khuzestan, and Raisi vowed not to “wait a day” to resolve the problems there. He said that part of the “huge wealth” of the region must be used for its own development. He also talked about the economic pressure faced by many people, promising to help build at least 1 million new houses every year. “Today, not only buying a house, but renting a house in a big city or even a small town, has become an unfulfillable dream for people,” he said in July.

Reconciliation

Currently, the Islamic Republic is determined to demonstrate stability through the peaceful transfer of power. Raisi met individually with the outgoing cabinet members and contacted many politicians, including former political prisoners, to discuss how the country should operate. Activists say that some people arrested during the 2019 riots allegedly caused hundreds of deaths, and some of them will be released.

Raisi must also deal with the differences in the hardline camp. The more radical members did not want him to succumb to the public’s demands for more social and political freedom. Parliament approved a plan to regulate social media and restrict public access to the Internet.

The Iranian wants to see if he can fulfill his promise. “Raisi must spend 1% of Khuzestan’s wealth in the province itself. This requirement is not excessive. Even if we have lost hope for any changes under this regime, we will hold him accountable,” said a member of the province. The protester, who asked not to be named, said.

The Khuzestan protester added: “I am 25 years old and have a degree in electronic engineering, but I have no job, no income, and no future. If a barefoot person chooses between starving to death or being shot to death, they You won’t be afraid of death.”

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