‘Butcher of Tehran’ elected as president

Ebrahim Raisi is widely accused of presiding over Iran's mass-executions in 1988 – and is a close ally of those who want to wipe Israel off the map


TOPSHOT - A woman holds a poster of Iran's newly-elected president Ebrahim Raisi, with text in Persian reading "government of the people, strong Iran", as supporters celebrate his victory in Imam Hussein square in the capital Tehran on June 19, 2021. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP) (Photo by ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has called the election of “butcher of Tehran” Ebrahim Raisi as the new president of Iran as a “final wake-up call for the West”.

Mr Raisi is a staunch ally of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has repeatedly called for the elimination of Israel and, in 2018, described the country as a "cancerous tumour".

A spokesman for Israel's foreign ministry, Lior Haiat, wrote that the hardline judge, who is under US sanctions for alleged human rights abuses, was Iran’s “most extremist president to date”.

Mr Haiat said that Mr Raisi was committed to Iran’s rapidly advancing military nuclear programme, and “his election makes clear Iran's true malign intentions”.

Mr Bennett told his cabinet on Sunday that the election of Mr Raisi should prompt world powers to reconsider its ongoing talks with Iran on a new nuclear deal.

Negotiations are taking place in Vienna today between Iran and the six world powers in an attempt to save the nuclear agreement that was abandoned by former US President Donald Trump.

The ultra-conservative Mr Raisi has been widely accused of being a member of the “death committee” – the panel of judges that presided over Iran’s mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.

“The butcher of Tehran, Ebrahim Raisi, has been rightly denounced by the international community for his direct role in the extrajudicial executions of over 30,000 people. He is designated by the US Treasury for these heinous crimes,” Mr Haiat wrote.

Having won an election race that was widely seen as designed to favour him, Mr Raisi will be inaugurated in August.

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