Iran faces 'brutal civil war' after President Ebrahim Raisi's death in horror helicopter crash

Ebrahim Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday
Ebrahim Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday -Credit:Getty Images

The unexpected demise of Iran's president might ignite a "bitter" civil war in the "unstable" Islamic Republic, an expert has warned.

President Ebrahim Raisi was onboard a helicopter that crash landed in the hilly East Azerbaijan Province of Iran on Sunday. No one in the helicopter survived the crash.

Raisi, a controversial figure, was directly involved in the severe suppression of nationwide demonstrations that rocked the country in 2022, following the death of Mahsa Amini whilst under police custody. Amini, a young woman, is believed to have been battered to death post her arrest due to inappropriate wearing of the hijab, reports the Mirror.

There are speculations that his death will create a power vacuum that may instigate internal conflict for the premier position. If these predictions hold true, a civil war could erupt within the already "highly dangerous and unstable nation".

Renowned British historian, Professor Anthony Glees from Buckingham University Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies, said to The Mirror: "We must never forget that the Supreme Leader, not the president, has the real and absolute power in Iran; a highly dangerous and unstable nation. If there is massive infighting as some predict, Iran could spiral into a bloody and bitter civil war."

According to the nation's constitution, Raisi will be succeeded by Mohammed Mokhber, 68, a close associate of the supreme leader, just like his predecessor. For now, he is viewed as a "safe bet" who should be able to control the conflicting factions.

He may also provide reassurance to the "brave Iranian men and women who are totally revolted by the bloody rule of the Ayatollahs", the professor stated.

Alternatively, Mojtaba Khameini, 55, the son of the supreme leader, could take over. However, his presidency would come with added controversy due to the establishment of a hereditary principle.

Professor Glees explained: "Hardline Shiites, who you can identify by their black turbans, believe that while imams are chosen by God, presidents are elected by the people. And if the son of a Supreme Leader succeeded a Supreme Leader, it would establish a hereditary principle, opposition to which in the case of the last Shah is one of the key things that sparked the 1979 Iranian revolution".

The professor further added that the death of Raisi - who "rose through the ranks of this odious regime because of his brutality" - should be "rejoiced". He is believed to be responsible for the re-trial of 20,000 dissidents and the mass execution of 5,000 of them.

More recently, he "led the attack on the 'Women, Life and Freedom' movement, had over 500 women killed, and we believe as many as 20,000 arrested". "And we know what happens to women the Iranian guards have under their control", he said.

"We should rejoice in the fact that he has gone. The very fact that the president and the foreign minister were both in the same helicopter, and both flying in fog so thick they could not be found, shows us how incompetent these clerics are when it comes to running a country. They can butcher and rape their opponents, citing religious practices, but they cannot find their way out of a paper bag."

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