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IUPUI grad/Hudson Institute fellow: No tears for Raisi, ‘The Hangman of Tehran’

Michael Pregent on Iran deaths

Former intelligence agent who is also IUPUI grad offers perspective on power changes due to deadly Iranian helicopter crash

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An IUPUI graduate who’s now a well-known voice on international affairs does not mince words when weighing in on the sudden death of Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi.

“His death is a big deal for the region, in a very positive sense,” said Michael Pregent, former intelligence officer and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank out of Washington, DC. He joined WISH-TV’s Daybreak for a discussion of how the deadly Sunday helicopter crash could reshape the fate of the country and the region.

“(Raisi was) a very bad man known as ‘The Butcher of Tehran,’ responsible for tens of thousands of executions of women, children and political dissidents,” Pregent explained.

Pregent feels the crash throws Iran into a kind of internal focus that, for the moment, makes wider Middle East conflict less likely and opens the possibility of change inside the country.

“The knives are out, there’s a lot of competition to take over,” Pregent said. “So this is a good time for allies, the US, and Israel to basically exploit these, take advantage of these schisms, and see if they can’t have a grassroots rebellion take place inside of Iran.”

When asked if Raisi’s death could lead to a more moderate Iran, Pregent answered bluntly.

“There are no moderates in (the government of) Iran,” Pregent said. He feels strongly that the country’s rulers do not reflect the larger population. “The people are moderate. If you were to parachute into Iran, it would be the people that would save you from the government. The people are against this regime.”

Raisi was widely seen as the likely successor to the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Al Khameni. Pregent agrees with a growing consensus that Khameni’s son is now in line for the role.

“Raisi was in competition with him. If Raisi would have ascended to the Ayatollah’s position, he would have united the Revolutionary Guard Corps and all of Iran’s punishing entities into one person and would have been able to just rule that country with a draconian fist.”