Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister die in a helicopter crash

Iran’s President, Ebrahim Raisi, and Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, have been declared dead following a helicopter crash, Iranian news agency reported on Monday. The incident happened on the way back from a visit to Iran’s East Azerbaijan province after the two nations inaugurated a dam in the region.

| Updated: 20 May, 2024 2:23 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Iran’s President, Ebrahim Raisi, and Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, have been declared dead following a helicopter crash, Iranian news agency reported on Monday. The incident happened on the way back from a visit to Iran’s East Azerbaijan province after the two nations inaugurated a dam in the region.

The crash occurred on Sunday amidst challenging conditions in mountainous terrain and icy weather in East Azerbaijan. The loss of two of Iran’s most influential political figures comes as the country buckles under significant economic and political strain, with tensions with nearby Israel at a dangerous high.

ALSO READ: India and Iran sign crucial Chabahar Port contract

About Ebrahim Raisi

Raisi, a staunch conservative, was expected to succeed Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Ebrahim Raisi had been the president of Iran since 2021. He succeeded moderate president, Hassan Rouhani. The US has sanctioned Raisi in part over his alleged involvement in the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 at the end of the bloody Iran-Iraq war.

Under his rule, greatest internal challenge occured to the regime in decades, when women led nationwide protests that went on for months following the September 2022 death of Iranian-Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini, who was arrested for flouting the Iranian dress code for women. More than 500 protesters were killed by the regime’s security forces, and more than 20,000 arrested.

ALSO READ: Iran seizes cargo ship ‘MSC Aries’ with 17 Indian nationals onboard

Iran has armed Russia in its war on Ukraine, as well as launched massive drone and missile attacks on Israel amid its war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. It also has continued arming proxy groups in the Mideast, like Yemen’s Houthi rebels and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

According to Iran’s constitution, when a president is incapacitated or dies in office:

  • If a president dies in office, article 131 of the Islamic Republic’s constitution says that the first vice president takes over, with the confirmation of the supreme leader, who has the final say in all matters of state in Iran.
  • A council consisting of the first vice president, the speaker of parliament and the head of the judiciary must arrange an election for a new president within a maximum period of 50 days.

 

ALSO READ: MEA advises against travel to Iran and Israel

Raisi was elected president in 2021 and, under the usual timetable, a presidential election had been due to take place in 2025. Under constitutional rules, it can now be expected to take place by early July.

Next in the line of presidential succession is Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, who must be approved by Khamenei, the final arbiter of domestic and foreign affairs in the Islamic Republic.

Also Read Story

Change at the top of NTA amid NEET controversy

Punjab Girl’s “Jannat Hai” Kashmir Video Melts Hearts

CSIR-UGC-NET postponed amid paper leak controversy

J&K Police close to busting terror network aiding infiltration