Iran appoints interim leader after president Raeisi dies in helicopter crash

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The crash site of the helicopter that was carrying Iran’s late president Ebrahim Raisi. IRANIAN RED CRESCENT

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed an interim president on Monday (May 20) after the country’s president died in a helicopter crash.

First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber has been appointed as Iran’s interim president, following the death of Ebrahim Raeisi in the helicopter crash on Sunday in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province. Raeisi was accompanied by a delegation, including Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Minister of Foreign Affairs; East Azerbaijan provincial governor Malik Rahmati and Mohammed Ali Ale Hashem, supreme leader Khamenei’s representative to East Azerbaijan, who also died in the crash. There were nine people onboard the helicopter and no one survived the crash.

Appointing Mokhber as interim president, Khamenei said the former will be in charge of leading the executive branch and work with heads of legislative and judicial to prepare for presidential elections within 50 days.

On Monday, Iran’s Cabinet appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani as acting foreign minister following the death of Amir-Abdollahian in the crash.

News of the tragic death of Iran’s leader sent shockwaves, with world leaders, including UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan sending condolences to the families of the victims.

Sheikh Mohamed expressed his heartfelt sympathies to the families. “I extend my deepest condolences to the Iranian government and people over the passing of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and those accompanying them following a tragic accident,” Sheikh Mohamed wrote on X.

“We pray that God grants them eternal rest and we extend our heartfelt sympathies to their families. The UAE stands in solidarity with Iran at this difficult time.”

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, also offered condolences to the “brotherly Iranian people and their leadership”. “Our hearts are with you in this difficult time,” Sheikh Mohammed said on X.

Raeisi and delegates were returning from a visit to Iran’s East Azerbaijan province when their helicopter reportedly encountered bad weather and crashed on Sunday. Iran has declared five days of mourning. ICA/Expat Media


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