Volatile State: Iran has a New Hardliner President
As widely expected, the Ultraconservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi was declared the winner of Iran’s presidential election, after many political heavyweights were barred from running.
Raeisi detailed the three pillars of his foreign policy plans. The three main areas, according to his campaign website, are: Security from the principle of power, peace from the principle of power, negotiation, and diplomacy from the principle of pride and benefit.
Arguably, the nuclear issue and the negotiations are one of the important issues that Iran and the outside world are waiting to see how Raeisi’s government is going to deal with.
During his debates with presidential candidates, Raeisi has already stated that the nuclear agreement must be adhered to as a nine-item contract approved by the Supreme Leader, and as a commitment that governments must do.
As argued in my book, Volatile State : Iran in the Nuclear Age, one should remember that key government institutions, namely, the intelligence apparatus, the military, the economy, and so on, are under the control of the supreme leader. Anyone who thinks that Ali Khamenei will give up his power for the sake of global assimilation, integration, and democracy—in whatever form or shape it may take—is mistaken.
As to Iran’s relations with Arab countries, Raeisi wrote in his website, "Close cooperation, mutual benefits with all neighbors and laying the foundation for this with the aim of maintaining achievements and deepening regional peace and stability are among the first priorities of his foreign policy towards Arab and neighboring countries". Iran observers raise questions about foreign policy trends, particularly with regard to Iran's nuclear issue and Iran's influence in the Arab region, from Syria and Yemen to Iraq and Palestine.
One thing is sure: There is broad agreement among Iran’s senior political figures, including Raisi, that the country must seek an end to the US sanctions in ongoing talks in Vienna aimed at rescuing the nuclear accord.
David Oualaalou is a Geopolitical Consultant, Award Winning Educator, Veteran, Author, and former International Security analyst in Washington, D.C.