What next after Iranian president's death in chopper crash?

Mohammad Mukhber likely to take over as the interim president of Iran

Ebrahim Raisi's body will be transported to the city of Tabriz (photo: @IAbhay_Pratap/X)
Ebrahim Raisi's body will be transported to the city of Tabriz (photo: @IAbhay_Pratap/X)

NH Digital

Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi's sudden death in a helicopter crash in East Azerbaijan province has created uncertainty in the country amid already existing regional turmoil thanks to the Israeli attack on Palestine. So what next for Iran?

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday said the Iranian people should not worry about the country, the Hindustan Times reported.

Along with Raisi (63), the country's 60-year-old foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian was also killed in the chopper crash. According to reports, some of the bodies were burned beyond recognition.

If a president dies in office, article 131 of the Islamic Republic Constitution says the first vice-president assumes temporary leadership with the approval of the supreme leader. Which essentially means Mohammad Mukhber is likely to take over as interim president.

According to media reports, together with the judiciary chief and the Parliament speaker, a new presidential election will be held in the next 50 days.

Born in 1955, Mohammad Mokhber is considered close to Ali Khamenei. In 2021, when Raisi was elected as the president, Mokhber was appointed as the first vice-president, Reuters reported.

Mokhber formerly headed the Setad, an investment fund linked to the supreme leader. According to Reuters, Mokhber was part of the team which visited Moscow in October and agreed to supply Russia's military with surface-to-surface missiles and additional drones.

The incident was reported at a time of growing dissent within Iran over political, social and economic crises. The country's clerical rulers already face international pressure over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme and its deepening military ties with Russia during the war in Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Requesting anonymity, an Israeli official informed Reuters that the helicopter was not involved in the crash.

However, Hamas, who is fighting the Israeli forces in Gaza, issued a statement expressing sympathy to the Iranian people.

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