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Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi Dies: What Happens Next?

Updated: May 21


 

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi tragically lost his life in a helicopter crash, along with his Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and six others. As the nation mourns, questions arise about the country’s leadership and the future political landscape.

 

Temporary Leadership Transition

Upon the president’s death, the first vice president assumes temporary leadership. In this case, Mohammad Mokhber, who holds this position, will take over. His appointment requires confirmation from the supreme leader, who has the final say in all matters of state. Notably, Mokhber is seen as being close to the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.

 

A council comprising the first vice president, the speaker of parliament, and the head of the judiciary has already organized a new presidential election on June 28. This process is unprecedented in Iran, as it marks the first time a sitting president has died.

 

Impact on Upcoming Election

Before President Raisi’s untimely demise, the next presidential election was scheduled for 2025. However, given the circumstances, this election will likely occur sooner. The government faces challenges, as it is currently unpopular, and enthusiasm among the population is at a record low. The 2021 election saw a significant boycott, with only around 40% of voters participating nationwide and a mere 7% turnout in Tehran.

 

The current supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, has been in power since 1989. He previously served as Iran’s president from 1981 to 1989. At 85 years old, his influence remains significant. The supreme leader’s confirmation of the interim leadership and oversight of the election process are critical steps in maintaining stability during this transition.

 

Iran faces a delicate period as it mourns the loss of President Raisi. The nation must navigate leadership changes while ensuring a smooth transition to the next presidency. The upcoming election will be closely watched, given the unique circumstances and the need to address public sentiment.

 

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