Updated May 20th, 2024 at 11:51 IST

Ebrahim Raisi's Death: Ploy To Remove Iranian President From Supreme Leader Race?

With Raisi's death, the short list of successors for Ali Khamenei's position becomes even shorter now, experts feel.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Iran President Ebrahim Raisi killed in helicopter crash | Image:X
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Tehran: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's sudden demise has raised several important questions amid ongoing tensions with Israel. The ones hopeful of a regime change in Iran bringing about a tectonic shift in the country's Middle-East policy are likely to be disappointed, according to international media reports. Experts feel that the impact of the demise of Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian from Sunday's helicopter crash will play out in Iran's domestic politics, maintaining that the country's covert operations against Israel and nuclear programme will remain in tact.

However, experts feel that Raisi's death will not deter Iran in any way. The key decisions and policies are set by the country's supreme leader Ayotollah Ali Khamenei. Previously in charge of Iran's judiciary, Raisi swept the 2021 polls, which saw a historical low voter turnout, and replaced Hassan Rouhani as the country's president. While the causes of accident are said to be due to technical snag and inclement weather, many experts don't rule out a possible attempt from within the country to eliminate Raisi from the race to become Iran's next supreme leader. Several reports claim that Raisi was one of the frontrunners for Iran's most powerful position. If rumours are to be believed, then the present Ayotollah might be on his way out after 35 years of rule due to his ailing health.

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Few experts claim that Khamenei's son Mojtaba is also a frontrunner for the country's top post. According to several reports, Mojtaba is already calling the shots and is positioning himself as his father's successor. Several experts have stated that even if there is foul play involved, the succession argument seems more plausible than a ploy by Israel. With Raisi's death, the short list of successors for Ali Khamenei's position becomes even shorter now, experts feel. Israel, which has eliminated Iran's top generals recently, fail to benefit much from Raisi's death, experts feel. Even though the site of the crash was close to Iran-Azerbaijan border, the Israel angle has emerged owing to Azerbaijan's allegiance to Tel Aviv. However, experts feel that eliminating Raisi would have been a huge waste of resources, with zero outcome or change to Iran's stand in Middle-East.

Raisi was known for his hard-line stance on Israel, calling for its destruction time and again, hailing Hamas' attack on October 7. In fact, an elated Raisi took to X and wrote, “We kiss the arms of heroic Hamas [in support] and all the brave resistance groups who are the pride of the world of Islam, and we salute the stalwart determination of the resistant people of Gaza.”

 

 

 

 

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Published May 20th, 2024 at 11:41 IST