Who Is Mohammad Mokhber? Iranian Vice President Likely To Succeed Ebrahim Raisi As Interim President

Mohammad Mokhber, 68, Iran’s first vice president, is expected to become interim president following the death of Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash, as per the country’s constitution. Read on to know how’s this going to happen

With multiple local media reports confirming the death of Iran President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash, attention has now turned to his temporary successor. The helicopter, carrying President Raisi, made a “hard landing” in the Dizmar forest between the cities of Varzaqan and Jolfa in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, near the border with Azerbaijan, on Sunday, May 19.

The crashed helicopter also carried Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, along with other officials and bodyguards.

While the circumstances of the helicopter crash remain unclear, Iran’s Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi initially stated that the helicopter “was forced to make a hard landing due to bad weather and fog.” Weather conditions also delayed search operations.

Iranian state TV reported that there was ‘no sign of life’ at the crash site of the helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi and others. Later, multiple Iranian media reports confirmed that all the passengers on the helicopter were killed in the crash. Now, the attention has turned to Iran Vice President Mohammad Mokhber who is likely to succeed Raisi.

Who Is Mohammad Mokhber?

Born on September 1, 1955, Mokhber, like Raisi, is considered close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in all matters of state. Mokhber became first vice president in 2021 when Raisi was elected president.

Mokhber was part of a team of Iranian officials who visited Moscow in October and agreed to supply surface-to-surface missiles and more drones to Russia’s military, sources told Reuters at the time. The team also included two senior officials from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and an official from the Supreme National Security Council.

Previously, Mokhber headed Setad, an investment fund linked to the supreme leader. In 2010, the European Union sanctioned Mokhber for alleged involvement in “nuclear or ballistic missile activities,” but removed him from the list two years later.

In 2013, the U.S. Treasury Department added Setad and 37 companies it oversaw to a list of sanctioned entities.

Will Mohammad Mokhber Succeed Ebrahim Raisi?

Mohammad Mokhber, 68, Iran’s first vice president, is expected to become interim president following the death of Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash, as per the country’s constitution.

As interim president, Mokhber will be part of a three-person council, along with the speaker of parliament and the head of the judiciary, responsible for organizing a new presidential election within 50 days of the president’s death.

Article 131 of the Iranian Constitution indeed stipulates that in the event of the President’s death, the First Vice President temporarily assumes the presidency.

This provision ensures continuity in the leadership of the country in case of such unfortunate circumstances. Mohammad Mokhber, as the first vice president, would therefore step in as the acting president until further arrangements are made according to the constitutional procedures.

After the sitting president’s death or incapacitation, the First Vice President assumes the presidency temporarily, pending approval from the Supreme Leader. Despite the upcoming presidential elections in 2025, Supreme Leader Khamenei has publicly reassured Iranians that the country’s operations will not be disrupted due to the incident.

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