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Iran's Khamenei approves Mohammad Mokhber as acting President, declares 5-day mourning

IANS | May 20, 2024 03:39 PM

TEHRAN: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has named First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber as acting president in the wake of Ebrahim Raisi's death in a helicopter crash.

Khamenei also ordered five days of national mourning for Raisi, the hardliner who had held the presidency since 2021.

Khamenei described Raisi as "tireless" and said the Iranian people had lost a "valuable and sincere person."

According to protocol, Mokhber had been expected to become interim president. New elections will now have to be held within 50 days.

The helicopter carrying Raisi and other senior officials was forced to a hard landing due to dense fog in the mountainous terrain.

However, it crashed in the northwestern province of East Azerbaijan on Sunday, killing all nine on board, a state-run media reported on Monday.

Eight other passengers with Raisi, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, East Azerbaijan's Governor Malek Rahmati, and the Friday prayers leader Tabriz Mohammad Ali Ale-Haseham, along with the flight crew, lost their in the fatal crash.

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