President Raisi leaves a legacy of service, love for humankind

The late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

The multi-faceted personality of Ayatullah Dr Ebrahim Raisi, the former President of Iran, encompasses a legacy of service, devotion, and leadership that profoundly impacted Iran and the wider world.

His tragic martyrdom, alongside esteemed figures like the late Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Ayatullah Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, and Dr Malek Rahmati, during a significant business trip following the inauguration of a key water dam, sent shockwaves throughout Iran and the global community. Raisi's presidency, marked by impactful policies, aimed at ameliorating deprivation, engaging youth in governance, and fostering robust political and economic relations with neighbouring nations.

He prioritised de-escalating regional tensions, fostering cultural and political dialogues, and addressing local concerns through provincial visits.

Raisi actively cultivated relationships with African countries, opposed global unilateralism, and facilitated Iran's integration into prominent economic organisations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRICS. Additionally, he staunchly supported Palestinian resistance movements and their rights.

With over 35 years of judicial and legal experience, Raisi brought a wealth of expertise to his presidency. His profound spiritual devotion, evidenced by his reverence for Shia Imam, Imam Reza (a.s.), led him to serve as the director of Astan Quds Razavi, a role he humbly embraced, focusing on transformative cultural and religious programmes.

Raisi's ascent to political prominence was fuelled by his dedication to judiciary, law, and religion, earning him widespread respect for his education, maturity, and unwavering commitment to Iran's Islamic principles. Despite facing opposition from those who disagreed with this system, Ayatullah Raisi remained steadfast in his religious devotion and political tolerance, focusing on his mission to serve the people and prioritize the nation's well-being.

His journeys to provinces within the country, as well as to Africa and other friendly nations in the region and worldwide, showcased his goodwill and affection. Leaders of these countries expressed admiration for Ayatullah Raisi's moral character, noting his genuine intentions and kindness.

Ayatullah Raisi held a distinctive view of Africa, recognising it as a crucial region. He emphasised the alignment between the ideals and goals of African people and those of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Raisi advocated for cooperation with African nations, promoting the sharing of Iran's modern technology and the importance of mutual benefit through increased joint ventures and bilateral economic transactions.

Ayatullah Raisi's compassionate and widely respected views clashed with the colonial mindset of some Western nations, who tried to portray him as unpopular and enigmatic. Despite this, leaders and people in Africa and other regions saw him as a resolute, pragmatic, and compassionate individual with a strong rapport and interactive spirit, earning him widespread admiration and respect.

In his condolence message on this occasion, President William Ruto aptly describes one aspect of Mr Raisi's character: "Raisi was a devoted public servant with a distinguished career dedicated to serving his people. He was a steadfast leader committed to his beliefs and worked tirelessly to enhance Iran’s global standing. As we extend our condolences to the people of Iran, we pray for Allah's mercy and comfort upon them," said Dr Ruto.

The tragic loss of Ayatullah Raisi in an air accident deeply impacted Iran, friendly nations, and freedom-loving individuals. Notably, one of Raisi's aspirations was to attain martyrdom in service to God and His people, a status highly revered in Islam. Raisi consistently prayed for this noble end. Remarkably, his companions shared this moral and popular spirit. Videos circulated online depict Mr Ale Hashim, the Friday Imam of Tabriz, expressing a similar desire to become the third martyred Friday Imam of Tabriz, following the martyrdoms of Ayatullahs Qazi Tabatabai and Madani due to assassination attempts.

Among the martyrs was Dr Amir Abdullahian, the foreign minister, known for his principled stance against oppression and unilateralism. He aimed to reform the international system to promote freedom, justice, and equality for all, fostering harmonious coexistence. Dr Malik Rahmati, a dedicated and youthful governor, provided invaluable services to the residents of East Azarbaijan province during his brief tenure, earning him high esteem among the populace for his commitment and diligence.

Following the death of the President of Iran, questions may arise about the subsequent course of action, especially for those unfamiliar with Iran's governmental system. However, Iran's government is characterised by maturity and strength, with clear provisions in its constitution. The separation of powers is well-defined, facilitating effective coordination in executive matters. As per Article 131 of the Constitution, executive authority is transferred to the first vice president in the event of the president's death or impeachment, typically a figure of significance in economic and political realms. Within 50 days, preparations for presidential elections begin in collaboration with legislative and judicial leaders, ensuring the continuity and stability of governance.

Therefore, the constitution comprehensively addresses all these scenarios, eliminating any ambiguity or specific concerns. Additionally, the leadership position in Iran carries immense significance, acting as the apex authority in politics, military, and religion, and serving as the cornerstone of the nation. It offers unwavering support for the political structure of the Islamic Republic, ensuring seamless governance. With guidance from the leadership, all affairs can be effectively handled, devoid of any ambiguity or complexity.