Election profile: Ebrahim Raisi

In 2000, Eman Raisi completed the world’s first attempt to mount a steerable high-tech boat in the Caspian Sea for an 800-mile voyage.

A year later he did it again.

Raisi went on to complete the first legs of the Trans-Caspian expedition – weaving together 36 courses in 25 days, 9 hours and 27 minutes.

Born in an Islamic household in 1981, Raisi studied mathematics and physics, first in Iran and then in Istanbul.

In December 2005, Raisi won the second stage of the Iran National Antique racing Series, completing the 1000km trip from Tehran to Mazandaran province.

In 2013, Raisi completed his first solo round-the-world speedboat tour, circumnavigating the planet in 24 days, 21 hours and 10 minutes.

Another time in May that year, Raisi was named National Hero of Islamic Culture and Islamic Art.

Raisi is a close confidant of the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He has provided Khamenei with conceptual and technical ideas since 2005.

Raisi is also a member of the Iranian parliament and serves as the deputy chief of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).

His parties have received significant funds from the government.

Raisi attended Tehran University for four years.

In 2010, Raisi made his television debut with an appearance on Iran’s Channel 12. Since then, he has appeared twice on Iranian state television (Intercontinental on 13 February 2011 and April 22, 2013).

He is a longtime member of one of the largest shareholder groups in Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE).

In recent years, Raisi has served as adviser to many officials and the media in Iran.

In 2005, Raisi lost a run-off election to Ayatollah Mohsen Rezai to become deputy governor of Tehran.

One of his previous roles was that of a senior advisor to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

A live bird of prey has been suspended from his left shoulder. Raisi has told media that if he is elected president of Iran, the bird of prey will fly in his ceremony.

Raisi has admitted to writing a letter to then US President George W Bush in 2005 urging the US to end the diplomatic relationship between Iran and the US.

Two years earlier, a group of Iranian MPs called for the investigation into Raisi’s alleged involvement in human rights abuses when he was Tehran’s prosecutor.

Iran’s highest legal body – the Guardian Council – has confirmed Raisi as the front-runner in the country’s presidential election in May 2019.

Raisi’s most important campaign contributions came from supporters of powerful Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The Guardian Council is a group of Iran’s top religious and political officials – led by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The council also took the difficult decision to lift the ban on women contesting in Iran’s presidential elections.

Iran’s high unemployment rate and inflation have been cited as the major issues on the campaign trail in Iran.

Khamenei previously admitted that Iran needs changes in its political system in an article published online on 31 September, published on the Guardian Council’s website.

It said the changes suggested by Khamenei include the election of a president who has lawmaking authority, instead of being appointed by the supreme leader.

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