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Raisi's election brings rise of Iran's Hezbollahis

The election of Ebrahim Raisi as president of Iran reflects a more revolutionary turn under the direction of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Iran's President-elect Ebrahim Raisi attends his first press conference after winning the election in Tehran, Iran, on June 21, 2021.

Nothing came unexpectedly in the Iranian presidential race. While Ebrahim Raisi’s election was a done deal, the only questions were about the size of voter turnout and who would vote for him. But Raisi’s ascent to power wasn’t to happen without open support from the establishment as a whole, the Principlists as a political current and the so-called “Hezbollahis” — a rising revolutionary power that functioned under the mantle of the Principlists for the past two decades and seems now ready to announce itself as a new and main player in the Iranian political arena.

“With the election of Sayed Ebrahim Raisi, we’ll see a much more revolutionary Iran than before,” a source close to the Raisi campaign told Al-Monitor, using an honorific common in Iran. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Raisi wasn’t ever a Principlist, stressing the president-elect himself said this when he ran for office in 2017 and in the last election reiterated he’s not running under the Principlist flag. The source added, “The Iranian political scene will be restructured; a new political current is going to rise, neither Reformist nor Principlist. Rather, a revolutionary Hezbollahi.”

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