Meet the new president of Iran: Ibrahim Raisi, head of the judicial authority, a cleric, and a radical conservative who helped murder thousands during his term as president of the country's supreme court. Raisi received over 62% of the votes and ensured his place, according to official statistics announced by the deputy interior minister. The turnout in the election was one of the lowest in the history of the Islamic republic, and apparently was lower than 50 percent.
Raisi comes from the conservative establishment in Iran, and in terms of hostility to Israel he is considered particularly radical. Raisi considers Hezbollah to be a main player in the implementation of the Iranian strategy, and under his leadership Iran is expected to strengthen its hold on Lebanon (unlike during the term of Rouhani) and provide more extensive civilian and military aid to Lebanon, especially these days when the economic situation in Lebanon is getting even worse.
Raisi will apparently support and promote the Shiite opposition, strengthen Iran's proxy organizations (such as the Shiite militias in Syria and Iraq, the Houthis in Yemen, and of course Hamas and Hezbollah as well). He is also expected to take a hardline and non-compromising stance on the Biden administration's demand for Iran to reduce its nuclear program and its enrichment of uranium. In this context, the U.S. and possibly even European countries will not believe that perceptional change is possible in Iran, and it can even be assumed that the camp opposed to negotiations with Iran will grow.
The fact that Raisi comes from conservative circles is expected to significantly increase the estrangement between the regime and Iran's population, which is in despair and is suffering from the difficult economic situation. The election of Raisi increases both the chances that demonstrations will start again as well as the likelihood of a popular uprising.
The election of Raisi and the weakening of the moderate camp, which seeks to change the face of Iran mainly towards the West, raises the likelihood that Iran led by Raisi will continue its policy towards Israel and maybe take even more radical actions, in a manner that may lead to an unavoidable confrontation between the two countries.