Who are Iran's hardliners Ebrahim Raisi and Amir Abdollahian

Who are Iran's hardliners Ebrahim Raisi and Amir Abdollahian

Shafaq News/ A career full of changes and challenges has ended with the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in a helicopter crash in northwest Iran, along with other officials.

Who Is Ebrahim Raisi?

Ebrahim Raisi, the hardline Iranian president long seen as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been a prominent and controversial figure in Iranian politics.

Born on December 14, 1960, in Mashhad, Raisi began his religious education at the renowned Qom Seminary at 15, studying under several prominent Muslim scholars.

He quickly rose through the judiciary ranks and was appointed prosecutor in successive cities before moving to Tehran to work as a deputy prosecutor.

By 1989, following the death of Iran's first Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Raisi was appointed the prosecutor of Tehran, a significant position that solidified his influence in the Iranian judiciary.

Raisi's career flourished under Khomeini's successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In 2016, he became the chairman of Astan Quds Razavi, the largest religious endowment in Mashhad, further cementing his status within Iran's establishment.

Raisi managed to maintain strong relations with all branches of government, the military, and the powerful theocratic ruling class.

Raisi first ran for the presidency in 2017 but was unsuccessful. He won the 2021 presidential election, a vote that saw the lowest turnout in the Islamic Republic's history.

Many saw his victory as consolidating hardline control in Iran's political landscape.

During his presidency, Raisi faced numerous challenges. The nuclear negotiations with the United States over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached a deadlock. At the same time, large-scale unrest erupted across the country at the end of 2022 following the death of Jina Mahsa Amini, who died in custody after being detained by the morality police for allegedly improperly wearing a hijab.

During his term, Iran intensified its uranium enrichment program and supported Russia's decision to invade Ukraine.

Recently, Raisi led Iran through a standoff with Israel as the two countries clashed over Israel's ongoing assault on Gaza, now approaching its eighth month.

Iran has been vocal in condemning Israel's actions, aligning with its regional allies in the "axis of resistance" against Israel and its Western supporters.

Raisi is sanctioned by the U.S., accusing him of mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 at the end of the bloody Iran-Iraq war and violations of human rights.

Who Is Hossein Amir-Abdollahian?

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, a hardliner known for his close ties to the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, played a pivotal role in shaping the country's foreign policy and overseeing indirect nuclear talks with the United States.

Iran's Foreign Minister was known for his fierce anti-Israel sentiment and skepticism of the West.

Born in 1960 in Damghan, Amir-Abdollahian moved to Tehran at age six after his father passed away.

He had a bachelor's degree in international relations from the School of International Relations in Tehran and a master's degree from the University of Tehran. He later completed a Ph.D. in international relations.

Starting on the Ministry's Iraq desk in 1990 and 1991, Amir-Abdollahian quickly rose through the ranks. From 2011 to 2016, he served as Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, where he was instrumental in managing Iran's relations with Arab and African countries.

In August 2021, President Ebrahim Raisi appointed Amir-Abdollahian as Foreign Minister. He was involved in efforts to reach a détente with regional rival Saudi Arabia in 2023, although these efforts were later overshadowed by tensions arising from the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Amir-Abdollahian remained closely aligned with the Revolutionary Guard and praised the late Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad in 2020.

Throughout his career, Amir-Abdollahian was known for his firm stance against the West and his significant influence on Iran's foreign policy decisions.

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