How Trump’s ‘Missile’ Deal Stinks and Why Iran’s Revolution Didn’t Result in a Bush or Obama Victory

General Raisi, 52, is expected to win a significant plurality of votes in the Iranian presidential runoff, but the Iranian electoral system rules in an outright win for the winning candidate, regardless of how…

How Trump's 'Missile' Deal Stinks and Why Iran's Revolution Didn't Result in a Bush or Obama Victory

General Raisi, 52, is expected to win a significant plurality of votes in the Iranian presidential runoff, but the Iranian electoral system rules in an outright win for the winning candidate, regardless of how many candidates that person defeats.

General Raisi, the leading contender, is the grandson of the grand ayatollah Taqi Bani Sadr, a scholar-turned-warlord who in 1979 led the exile of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, from Paris to Teheran, which sheltered Iran’s then-leader, Ali Khamenei.

What does this get General Raisi?

With a beard worthy of “Star Wars” villain Darth Vader, General Raisi describes himself as an uncompromising reformer and says he wants to resolve the ongoing Iran nuclear deal without the concessions made in past negotiations.

Although not directly connected to the brutal Islamic Revolution of 1979 that toppled the Shah, he was a defender of the government as he served as governor of Tehran in the late 1980s.

He then returned to the field of law in 1988. While a deputy judge, he had condemned 8,000 religious prisoners to death.

During the eight-year war with Iraq, he ordered prisoners killed and the destruction of tanks and the fall of Iranian cities.

In 2016, he became the first person to be nominated as Iran’s unelected supreme leader’s replacement.

When did Iran’s supreme leader ‘retire’?

Tehran calls Khamenei, 86, the “legit” supreme leader, one who serves as the last word on all matters of state. Outside of Iran he is the “spiritual” leader; his approval is required for any changes to Iran’s constitution.

In 2004, the Guardian Council, which vets presidential and legislative candidates, disqualified nearly all candidates including Khamenei’s choice, Hasan Rowhani, the current president.

Who said that?

Very closely held. With the exception of a few disclosures from Iran’s far-left opposition, most of the personnel in charge of Iran’s foreign and defense affairs has remained in place since the 1979 revolution.

A Bollywood/Hollywood take?

Yes. Iran is one of the world’s top performers in Bollywood musicals. Late Iran-born directors Shahin Najafi and Ali Ferzat were the first Iranian filmmakers to be nominated for Academy Awards.

How old was Raisi when he made his D-grade film?

He became an ordained Catholic priest in 2006 and his film works that year included “Gulsum,” a comedy on his Irish mother, and “Kaddish,” a love story set in Jerusalem. (Ironically, both also mention the chief adversary of conservative Iranians: the Rabbinical Court, which some say gives preferential treatment to women.)

In 2008, Raisi’s film “Waging Jihad” was the opening film at the Dubai International Film Festival. The film received mixed reviews and saw modest box office results in Iran.

His latest film, “Sharief,” premiered in Bollywood in 2011 but never got a wide release in Iran.

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