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President Raisi Dies: Will Anything Change in Iran?

Raisi, an ultraconservative Khamenei protege was seen as the supreme leader’s preferred successor

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President Raisi Dies: Will Anything Change in Iran?

Tragedy struck on Monday when a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, and other officials crashed in northwestern Iran, killing everyone on board.

Raisi, an ultraconservative Khamenei protege seen by some observers as the supreme leader’s preferred successor, was elected president in a 2021 vote that saw his most prominent rivals barred from running and a record low turnout from the electorate.

The crash happened in bad weather near Varzaqan, and search teams found the wreckage the next day.

The group was returning from a trip to Azerbaijan, where they'd attended a ceremony to launch a new dam project with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

Aliyev shared a heartfelt message on social media, saying he was really upset by the news and offered support as a friend.

President Raisi Dies: Will Anything Change in Iran?

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Leaders from other countries, like Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, also sent condolences and even declared a national day of mourning.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was shocked by the development and that “India stands with Iran in this time of sorrow.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani expressed “great sadness and great sorrow.”

United Arab Emirates President bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the UAE “stands in solidarity with Iran at this difficult time.”

Iran’s constitution says that if the president dies or is incapacitated, the role is filled by the first vice president, a position currently held by Mohammad Mokhber, until a new presidential election is held within 50 days.

The role of president is subservient to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who retains his ultimate authority over the affairs of the country.


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