Who is Ebrahim Raisi?

Iranian President-Elect Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference at Shahid Beheshti conference hall on June 21, 2021 in Tehran, Iran. (Getty)

  • Raisi was born in December 19, 1960, in the Noghan district of Mashhad.
  • He belongs to a clerical family. His father died when he was 5.
  • He wears a black turban which indicates that he’s a descendant of Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin Sayyids.
  • He started attending a seminary in the holy city of Qom at the age of 15.
  • When he was a student, he took part in protests against the Shah in 1979.
  • He used to refer to himself as "Ayatollah" but his credentials were disputed, so he started to use the title “hojat-ol-eslam", a clerical rank immediately beneath that of Ayatollah, only to declare himself an Ayatollah again shortly before the 2021 presidential election.
  • He started his judicial career at 21 when he was appointed the prosecutor of Karaj.
  • When he was only 25, he became the deputy prosecutor in Tehran.
  • In early 1988, he came to  the attention of Ruhollah Khomeini and received special provisions (independent from judiciary) from him to address legal issues.
  • He served as one of four judges who sat on secret tribunals set up in 1988 that were known later as the "Death Committee", since they oversaw the executions of thousands of political prisoners.
  • From 2004 until 2014, Raisi served as First Deputy Chief Justice of Iran.
  • On March 7, 2016, he became Chairman of Astan Quds Razavi, which manages the shrine of the eighth Shia Imam Reza in Mashhad as well as all various charities and organizations affiliated with it.
  • He ran for presidency in 2017 elections, supported by hardline conservatives, but he gained only 38.30% of the votes and lost to the reformist Rouhani.
  • In the 2021 presidential elections, Raisi won by gaining 62% of the votes amid low voter turnout of 48.8%.
  • Many observers believe that Raisi is "the most likely successor of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei" as Supreme Leader of Iran.