‘Butcher of Tehran’ Dead but Legacy Continues as Iran Appoints Acting President

Ebrahim Raisi, the late President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who died Sunday in a helicopter crash, was a known quantity to the American government because of his massacres of Iranian citizens.

Raisi was sanctioned by the Trump administration for his role in conducting the massacre of 5,000 Iranian political prisoners in 1988 and also for his role in the slaughter by the clerical regime of 1,500 Iranian demonstrators in 2019.

Raisi previously boasted about his role on a late 1980s death panel when he served as a judge who issued summary execution sentences to dissidents. He labeled the mass murders “one of the proud achievements” of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Washington, D.C. expert on Iran’s regime, Alireza Nader, said, “Raisi was one of the most evil men serving one of the most brutal regimes in existence today. The people of Iran will never forget his crimes. His death will present major challenges for the succession of Khamenei.”

Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, is the epicenter of power in the Islamic Republic. He handpicked Raisi as his candidate in 2021, which was widely reported as a “sham” election. Democratic, Western-style elections don’t exist in Iran.

Raisi earned the nickname “Butcher of Tehran” for his cruel crackdowns on Iranian demonstrators, including individuals who participated in the 2022 “Women, Life, Freedom” movement to ensure justice for the regime’s murder of Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian Kurdish woman.

The morality police of the regime arrested and tortured Amini for failing to cover her hair properly, as required by the strict dress code of the Islamic nation.

“In many ways, Raisi was his clone,” Nader said about the mirror images of Khamenei and Raisi. “The regime will replace him with yet another Khamenei loyalist. Nevertheless, Raisi’s death is a big blow for the despised and vulnerable regime,” he added.

Mohammad Mokhber, Iranian Vice President, has succeeded Raisi as President until new elections are codified as mandated by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s constitution. The election is set to take place after 50 days of a caretaker government. The European Union and the United States have sanctioned Mokhber.

The United States Department of the Treasury’s 2021 sanction announced the targeting of Mokhber, who oversaw the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO) — “which has systematically violated the rights of dissidents by confiscating land and property from opponents of the regime, including political opponents, religious minorities, and exiled Iranians.” 

The European Union additionally sanctioned Mokhber for a time with others over concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.

The tenure of Raisi was marked by three crucial features: the drone and missile attack on Israel, his widening of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and his bloody purge of activists associated with the “Women, Life, Freedom” movement.

Experts on Iran said President Biden’s weak posture toward Khamenei and Raisi spurred the Iranian regime to attack Israel.

In March, it was reported Biden defied opponents of the Iranian regime and waived sanctions on the economy of cash-starved Iran. The Biden administration said the relief from the sanctions can’t be used to finance Iran’s growing drone, military, and nuclear industries. But Raisi fired back at America last year, saying the funds will be used “wherever we need it.”

Biden administration faced criticism following the release of billions into Iran’s war chest

Joe Biden faced criticism after releasing as much as $10 billion into the war chest of the Islamic Republic. In January, a terrorist attack that killed three U.S. soldiers in Jordan was sponsored by the Iranian regime.

The Biden administration insisted Iran’s regime can’t use the funds for its growing arsenal of military weapons. However, critics argue that the $10 billion is fluid and that the financial allocation allows Iran to expand its military apparatus and revise its budget.

When questioned on the financial relief given to Iran and how the regime utilized it last month on “Fox News Sunday” with Shannon Bream, John Kirby, White House national security adviser, stated, “It’s not even sanctions relief, but the additional funds that have been made available to Iran due to [the] sanctions relief program that the Trump administration put in place can only be used for humanitarian goods. It doesn’t go to the regime.”

Kazem Moussavi, the German-Iranian dissident spokesman for the Iran Green Party in exile, said, “Raisi was one of the main criminals in the history [of] Iran.” Mousavi urged German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier not to express condolences to the regime of Iran regarding the death of Raisi and other Iranian officials on the crashed helicopter. Steinemeir is reported to have sent a congratulatory letter to the Iranian regime in 2019 to honor the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. 

The Biden administration has faced fierce criticism for providing massive billion-dollar packages in economic sanctions relief to Raisi’s regime.

Iranian Americans protested the appearance of Raisi at the United Nations. The former President is hated by most Iranians and by massive swathes of the Islamic Republic’s population, according to the analysts.

Because the Islamic Republic of Iran’s policies are determined by the country’s fervent anti-American leader, Khamenei, the next President will continue touting Raisi’s legacy as the next act in the regime’s continuing zealous policies toward Israel and the West.

The U.S. State Department, under both GOP and Democratic administrations, has classified the Iranian regime as the world’s worst state-sponsor of global terrorism.