Ebrahim Raisi: hard-line challenger in Iran

Raisi, a hard-line cleric close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has served in the country's judiciary for decades. He is also a member of the Assembly of Experts, an all-cleric body that will rule on Khamenei's succession. (AP)
Updated 14 April 2017
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Ebrahim Raisi: hard-line challenger in Iran

TEHRAN: Ebrahim Raisi is a hard-line judge who spent years in powerful backroom positions before emerging as a leading challenger for Iran’s presidential election next month.
Born into a religious family in the holy city of Mashhad on August 23, 1960, Raisi is a “seyed” whose geneology is said to lead back to the Prophet Muhammad.
Raisi’s father died when he was five, and he entered the seminary at an early age, excelling in his studies and moving to the seat of clerical learning in Qom in 1975.
After the 1979 revolution, he helped manage the border city of Masjed Suleiman, a hotbed of Marxists, before starting his judicial career in 1981 as a prosecutor in Karaj, and later Hamedan.
In 1985, he became a deputy prosecutor at the Revolutionary Court of Tehran in the midst of the Iran-Iraq war when thousands of political prisoners were executed.
Raisi spent a decade as head of the Inspection Office from 1993, followed by 10 years as deputy head of the judiciary. In 2006, he was elected to the Assembly of Experts that has powers to choose the next supreme leader, and now sits on its board of directors.
In 2012, he became a prosecutor in the Special Court of Clerics, charged with disciplining the clergy, and spent two years as Iran’s nationwide prosecutor-general from 2013 to 2015.
In March 2016, he was appointed by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to head Astan Qods Razavi, a charitable foundation overseeing the Imam Reza shrine, as well as a huge business conglomerate with interests in everything from IT and banking to construction and agriculture.
He is married to the daughter of Mashhad’s hard-line Friday prayer leader Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda.


Arab League sends out invites to Arab states to attend summit called by King Salman

Updated 29 min ago
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Arab League sends out invites to Arab states to attend summit called by King Salman

The Arab League has sent out invitations to Arab leaders to hold an emergency Arab summit, called by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, to be held in Makkah on May 30 to discuss the attacks on commercial ships.

Two oil pump stations were attacked earlier this week in Saudi Arabia by the Iran-backed Houthi militia, just days after four commercial ships were sabotaged off the coast of the UAE.  

The Council of the League will discuss the immolations of the attacks to regional and international peace, as well as the stability of the oil markets.