Who will be Iran’s next supreme leader? – Asia Times

Who will be Iran's next supreme leader? - Asia Times

The recent suicide of Iran’s leader, Ebrahim Raisi, in a plane crash will not only cause new presidential primaries. Some experts think Raisi will take over as Iran’s high head.

This place is at the center of the country’s complicated political system. The highest leader has the last say in most matters, despite the numerous organizations that are involved in running Iran.

In reality, it is very unlikely that Raisi may have succeeded the latest supreme leader, Ali Khamenei. The place, which was modeled on the idea of the Care of the Supreme Jurisprudent, which former president Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini placed at the heart of the innovative law of 1979, requires both political ability and spiritual credentials.

Although Khamenei did not have the necessary spiritual standing in the administrative hierarchy when he succeeded the overdue Khomeini a century later, the Egyptian constitution had to be changed. He was not an ayatollah, unlike Khomeini, so the Persian constitution was amended to emphasize social competence over spiritual legitimacy. Yet this would not have been sufficient to support Raisi’s nomination.

For his piece, Raisi was not even a middle- standing priest. He lacked social charisma and no real spiritual influence. It is very unlikely that he would have been accepted as the supreme leader by both the administrative and political establishments as a result.

The Assembly of Professionals, the legal instrument tasked with the vote of the supreme leader, properly be dominated by thus- called” republicans” allied to some of the parties that supported Raisi.

However, there are older ayatollahs in Qom, the Egyptian Shia equivalent of the Vatican, who have significant influence and informal say in the succession debate.

That priestly factor is certainly important in an Islamist republic driven by theocratic politics, and Raisi had no supporters in Qom.

Raisi was n’t viewed as someone with a proven track record in politics either. Khamenei gave him the positions of authority that he held. Additionally, he served on a board that administered the death penalty to hundreds of political detainees in 1988, making him seriously involved in some of Iran’s most heinous human rights violations in recent years. Raisi tried to range himself from that part, but he never denied his presence.

When Raisi did run for president in the 2017 vote, he lost to Hassan Rouhani, who advocated for better relations with the universe and for domestic measures. The least-contested election in Islamic republic history occurred in June 2021, which suddenly gave Raisi the presidency. No true criticism was allowed.

In 2022, common anger with Iran’s extremely confined political room erupted in the” Women, Life, Freedom” protest movement – a huge outpouring of opposition. Another sign of his failure to stabilize Iranian politics was the Raisi administration’s inability to deal with these protests without a significant uprising of state violence.

His bias toward the hard-right marginalized various segments of Iran’s active civil society and the reformist political parties, too. This only undermined the legitimacy of his government. Raisi was viewed as a blatant yea-sayer to Khamenei and his followers, who appeared to be the only ones keeping an eye on him.

But Khamenei is not a Khomeini. One of the most profound revolutions in recent history was caused by the first supreme leader’s enormous following. For Khamenei, it is much more difficult to maneuver with impunity. As I laid out in my book on Iran, if Khomeini was the” Lenin” of the Iranian revolution, Khamenei became a mere prefect.

I do n’t think Mojtaba Khamenei will succeed his father, which is explained by his compromised position and the complex clerical politics in Iran. The younger Khamenei, who is considered to be the supreme leader, has neither the real religious credentials nor the experience of holding any senior political positions, which is required under the second amendment of the Constitution.

Being the son of the current leader is another disadvantage. A revolution that disapproved of the idea of a hereditary monarchy in Iran and beyond cannot afford such a succession right now. As one of the last living figures directly involved in the 1979 revolution, Ali Khamenei is aware of this.

The next leader of Iran

So, who will succeed the current leader? No one knows for sure, not even Iran’s political elite, in truth. The speculation outside the country, which is mostly ill- informed, is driven by the politics superimposed on the Iran narrative. In reality, the current supreme leader is the only one who has the authority to monopolize the constitutional process.

The job description is clear, though. The senior clerics of Qom and the state’s clerical establishment will tolerate the next Iranian supreme leader’s solid religious standing.

He will have some political experience but not be stung by significant scandal. He will have a strong pedigree that will tie him to Khomeini, the Islamic Republic’s founder, and he will have an aura that the powerful Revolutionary Guards will respect.

The new leader will also be at the center of the region’s infamous” axis of resistance,” a conglomerate of movements that spans Syria, Yemen, Palestine, and Iraq. Additionally, he will be given a nuclear arsenal that will enable the development of an atomic bomb. In addition, the Iranian government will examine its level of competence in establishing international relations.

Who will take the reigns of contemporary Persia and become one of the most significant figures in global politics? That is the full scope of this position, which will determine generations to come what will happen to Iran, the region, and international security.

Arshin Adib- Moghaddam is a professor at SOAS, University of London, who teaches global thought and comparative philosophies.

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