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Mohammad Mokhber takes charge as interim President of Iran after death of Raisi in helicopter crash

TEHRAN: Iranian state media confirmed today that President Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash, initiating a series of constitutional procedures to fill the presidential position.

According to Iranian law, if a president dies in office, Article 131 stipulates that the first vice president—currently Mohammad Mokhber—assumes the presidency, pending confirmation by the supreme leader, who holds ultimate authority over state matters in Iran.

Additionally, a council comprising the first vice president, the speaker of parliament, and the head of the judiciary must organize an election for a new president within 50 days.

Here are some key facts about Mohammad Mokhber, 68, Iran’s first vice president who became interim president following the death of Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash:

  • As interim president, Mokhber is part of a three-person council, alongside the speaker of parliament and the head of the judiciary, tasked with arranging a new presidential election within 50 days of the president’s death.
  • Born on September 1, 1955, Mokhber, like Raisi, is considered close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in all state matters. 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 additional drones to Russia’s military, according to sources cited by Reuters. This team also included two senior officials from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and an official from the Supreme National Security Council.
  • Mokhber previously 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 US Treasury Department sanctioned Setad and 37 companies under its oversight.
  • Setad, officially known as Setad Ejraiye Farmane Hazrate Emam (Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam), was established by an order from the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. It was created to manage and sell properties abandoned after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, with most proceeds directed to charity.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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