Israel is worried about Ebrahim 'the Butcher' Raisi, Iran's new president

In the last two days, three interesting stories have emerged from the Middle East.  The first story is about Ebrahim "the Butcher" Raisi's election as president in Iran; the second is Israel's announcement that this election forces it to protect itself against this butcher; and the third is news that Iran's sole nuclear power plant abruptly shut down.  The first and second stories are quite obviously connected.  The real question is whether the third story is a promise of things to come or is just a coincidence.

That Raisi was going to be president is no surprise to regular American Thinker readers.  Hassan Mahmoudi and Hamid Enayat wrote that Ayatollah Khamenei, who is the ultimate power in Iran, was backing Raisi's election, making it a done deal.  They also wrote that the men (and women) on Iran's streets are deeply distressed by Raisi's elevation because he is known to be a mad butcher, who willingly turned his sadism on his own citizens.

This is not hyperbole.  Even the New York Times has acknowledged that Raisi's crimes against humanity are so bad that both the U.S. and the European Union have placed him on sanctions lists.  The Times, though, is a bit shy about telling the details, simply noting:

In 1988, when he was Tehran's deputy prosecutor general, Mr. Raisi was implicated in one of the bloodiest episodes in the history of the Islamic Republic. He sat on a four-man committee that sent about 5,000 imprisoned government opponents to their deaths, according to Amnesty InternationalHuman Rights Watch and other organizations. Many were executed in prison even though they had not been sentenced to death, according to rights groups and relatives of the dead.

Britain's Sun is not so shy.  And while there are doubts about whether Raisi was responsible for 5,000 deaths or as many as 30,000, the details about what he did seem clear.  According to firsthand reports, in true Che Guevara fashion, Raisi and his fellow committee members lined men, women, and children up against walls and had them shot.

Farideh Goudarzi, eight months pregnant at the time, was brutally tortured in a room with multiple cables mixing with the blood already on the floor.  Raisi, she said, liked to watch.  Her husband and brother were both executed.

Under Raisi's reign of terror, Mahmoud Royaee spent ten years in prison after he was arrested at 18 for the "thoughtcrime" of reading newspapers supporting freedom.  His ten-year stay in prison, during which he was regularly tortured and threatened with execution, ended only after his father was finally able to buy him out.

Certainly, Israel takes very seriously Raisi's reputation.  According to i24 News:

Israeli security officials believe the country must prepare contingency planning for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities following the Islamic Republic's selection of a new president.

Ebrahim Raisi — an ultra-conservative and former prosecutor alleged to have condemned thousands of people to execution — is likely to adopt Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's hardline views on foreign and nuclear policy.

[snip]

There will be no choice but to go back and prepare attack plans for Iran's nuclear program. This will require budgets and the reallocation of resources," an unnamed senior Israeli source was quoted as saying.

Lior Haiat, who is the spokesperson for Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reminded the world just how bad Raisi is, making his regime an existential threat to Israel:

Yair Lapid, who is Israel's actual minister for foreign affairs, put his imprimatur on the press release:

Them's fightin' words — and rightly so.  Having a madman with nuclear weapons aimed at your small nation is an existential crisis.

So maybe it was a coincidence, and maybe it wasn't, that on Sunday, Iran's only nuclear power plant had difficulties that required an emergency shutoff:

Iran's sole nuclear power plant has undergone a temporary emergency shutdown, state TV reports.

An official from the state electric energy company, Gholamali Rakhshanimehr, says on a talk show that the Bushehr plant shutdown began on Saturday and will last "three to four days."

He says that power outages could result. He does not elaborate, but this is the first time Iran has reported an emergency shutdown of the plant, located in the southern port city of Bushehr. It went online in 2011 with help from Russia.

With Trump in the White House, Israel knew that it had America's might and moral support at its back.  However, Biden's desperation to return to the Iran accord, the many anti-Semites whom he's appointed to his administration, and Biden's own frequently displayed antipathy toward Israel all come together to tell that small Jewish nation in the midst of a sea of Muslims that it's on its own.

Even if the nuclear shutdown didn't involve Israel, I assume that the following weeks and months will bring more stories about things going wrong in Iran's nuclear industry.  Israel's survival depends on it.

Image: Ebrahim “the Butcher” Raisi by Hossein Razaqnejad. CC BY 4.0.

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