Ebrahim Raisi has been tied to mass executions and crackdowns of political opponents. He played a key role in a death commission that ordered the executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.
The U.S. government has noted Raisi’s involvement in what it described as a crackdown on protesters following the 2009 election.
Raisi signaled that Iran seeks to expand its power as a counterbalance to foes across the region.
The regime is in a weakened position due to its poor economic state and its disastrous handling of the COVID-19 pandemic pandemic, which has also been dogged by protests, including recent demonstrations over water shortages.
State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that the new regime would wait to see what approach Raisi would take to the U.N.