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Mokhber becomes Iran’s new interim president after Raisi’s death

After the death of Ebrahim Raisi and members of his entourage was officially confirmed, supreme leader Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei appointed Mohammad Mokhber, the first vice-president as Iran's new interim president.

Mohammad Mokhber has been appointed as Iran's new interim president

Mohammad Mokhber has been appointed as Iran's new interim president until the next presidential poll

Mohammad Mokhber, Iran’s first vice-president, will act as the interim president (head of the executive), the Islamic Republic’s Guardian Council spokesman Hadi Tahan Nazif informed the press on Monday, May 20th. Supreme leader Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei has approved Mr Mokhber’s appointment as Iran’s new interim president after President Ebrahim Raisi was killed on Sunday, May 19th.

After hours of running a search and rescue mission, Iran officially declared that Mr Raisi, along with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, East Azarbaijan Governor Malek Rahmati and Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, the East Azarbaijan Imam of Friday prayers, have been killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday in the Varzaqan region in East Azarbaijan province. 

As Iran’s new interim president, Mr Mokhber will now have to prepare the ground for a presidential election within the next 50 days with the help of the head of the Parliament and the judiciary. 

Apart from approving Mr Mokhber’s appointment, Mr Khamenei has also declared a five-day mourning for the 63-year-old Raisi, who was apparently the heir apparent of the supreme leader due to his background in judiciary and clergy. 

According to reports, Mr Raisi’s helicopter, ferrying him and his companions from the border of Azerbaijan, where he went to inaugurate the Qiz Qalasi Dam located on the Ars border river, crashed in the hilly terrains due to poor weather conditions and heavy fog.

Iran's new interim president Mohammad Mokhber with Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamanei
Mohammad Mokhber posted a photo of him with the Ayatollah

Condolences 

Leaders of several countries extended their condolences to Iran over the killing of Mr Raisi and his entourage, including Amir-Abdollahian. 

“The Secretary-General is saddened by the death of H.E. Mr. Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, H.E. Mr. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and their colleagues in a helicopter accident on 19 May (sic),” Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the office of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said in a statement. 

The UN Security Council also observed a minute of silence at the beginning of the Monday meeting.

India’s incumbent Prime Minister also offered his condolences on X. “Deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic demise of Dr. Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. His contribution to strengthening India-Iran bilateral relationship will always be remembered. My heartfelt condolences to his family and the people of Iran. India stands with Iran in this time of sorrow,” Mr Modi posted.

India’s incumbent External Affairs Minister  S Jaishankar wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that he is “deeply shocked to hear of the passing away of Iran’s President Dr Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister H. Amir-Abdollahian.” He recalled his meeting with them and offered condolences to the families. Mr Jaishankar also shows support to the people of Iran. “We stand with the people of Iran at the time of this tragedy.”

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said he was “profoundly troubled by the news” and offered support. “As a neighbor, friend, and brotherly country, the Republic of Azerbaijan stands ready to offer any assistance needed (sic)”, he wrote on X.

Iran’s new interim president heads cabinet meet

As Iran’s new interim president—technically the head of the executive branch of the government—Mr Mokhber chaired an emergency cabinet meeting in Tehran. According to Iran’s official news agency IRNA, Mr Mokhber called on the cabinet members to continue working as confidently and strongly as before to serve the Iranian people.

Under Mr Mokhber, the cabinet has decided to set up a committee tasked with organising the funeral processions for the late president and his entourage. The committee is headed by Mr Raisi’s deputy for executive affairs Mohsen Mansouri. The cabinet has also reportedly decided to appoint a foreign minister and the governor of the East Azerbaijan province.

Mr Mokhber, Iran’s new interim president, also reportedly said that Iran has a well-established and strong system and there won’t be any problem managing the administration.

A journalism student interested in national and international news. She aspires to highlight the concerns of the people through her writing.

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