Hope springs supreme

Iran’s president-elect Ebrahim Raisi seems a somewhat clarifying figure. He is the head of regime’s judiciary. He is under sanction by the United States for his role in the mass execution of thousands of Iranian political prisoners in 1988. He earned his nickname the hangman honestly. See Mariam Memarsadeghi’s Tablet backgrounder “Meet ‘The Butcher,’ Iran’s New President Ebrahim Raisi” and Bret Stephens’s New York Times column “Iran Bets on Religion, Repression and Revolution.”

The AP quoted a senior official of Amnesty International upon Raisi’s election last week: “That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran.”

Raisi held a press conference in Tehran yesterday. Speaking to the assembled multitude, Raisi held out the prospect that all good things would come to the regime via our own less than supreme leader:

Concerning the talks over Iran’s nuclear deal, Raisi promised to salvage the accord to secure relief from U.S. sanctions that have devastated the Iranian economy. But he ruled out any limits to Iran’s missile capabilities and support for regional militias — among other issues viewed by Washington as shortcomings of the landmark deal that the Biden administration wants addressed.

“It’s nonnegotiable,” Raisi said of Iran’s ballistic missile program, adding that the U.S. “is obliged to lift all oppressive sanctions against Iran.”

Raisi has a personal stake in the lifting of those “oppressive sanctions.”

I think it’s fair to infer that Raisi’s rise reflects the views of the Supreme Leader and that he may even have been groomed to succeed him. The Supreme Leader is not exactly an enigma. He’s a “death to America” kind of guy. Yet the spokesmen for our less than supreme leader — Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and the psickening Jen Psaki — repose their hopes for a wonderful deal with the regime in the good wishes of Iran’s Supreme Leader. Something does not compute.