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Iranian President Dies in Helicopter Crash: What Are the Repercussions?

Iranian President Dies in Helicopter Crash: What Are the Repercussions?

BY ADNAN SHAHEED Published on May 21, 2024 0 COMMENTS

Iran has declared their President Ebrahim Raisi dead on Monday May 20 2024. Media has stated that he has died after his helicopter crashed in the mountainous northwestern region of Iran.

A video showing the supposed crash site of the deceased Iranian president | Image: Reuters, a news


President Raisi and his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, died when their helicopter crashed as it was crossing mountainous terrain in heavy fog, as stated by an Iranian official on Monday.




According to Iran's Mehr agency, "The president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi, had an accident while serving and performing his duty for the people of Iran and was martyred."

Raisi's death was later confirmed both on social media by Vice President Mohsen Mansouri and on state television. State TV reported that the images from the crash area depicted the aircraft “crushed” into a mountain peak, although there was no official statement on the cause of the crash.


The president's cabinet has stated that the Iranian government will continue to perform without any further delays following the death of the President Ebrahim Raisi in the helicopter crash:

“We assure the loyal nation that the path of service will continue with the tireless spirit of Ayatollah Raisi…without the slightest disruption…".


A Turkish drone that helped find the helicopter crash site o drew an Islamic crescent, a symbol of Islam, as a sign of mourning for the deceased Iranian president. | Image: 


Vice President to Assume Control of Iran

Iran's first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, is expected to assume the presidency as the country prepares for early elections. The Iranian constitution stipulates that the first vice president should assume control "in the event of the president's death, dismissal, resignation, absence or illness for more than two months".


Raisi, who died on Sunday along with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and other officials, was nearing the end of his first four-year term as president, so it appears Mokhber may not keep his role for long.


Mokhber's interim appointment also requires the approval of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final word in all state affairs, making it harder to stay in power.


According to Iran's constitution, presidential elections to pick a permanent successor are to be held within 50 days. A council made up of the nation's parliament speaker, the head of the judiciary, and the vice president are to be tasked with organizing a national vote.


Similar to the United States, Iranians head to the polls for presidential elections every four years. This has occurred since the Islamic Republic's first election in 1980.  Presidents can serve a maximum of two terms. The position of prime minister does not exist in Iran, and the president - assisted by several vice presidents - is responsible for appointing and directing his cabinet.

Mohammad Mokhber, 68, was appointed vice president as Raisi took office in August 2021. The vice president was born in Dezful city in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, where he had held several official positions. 


Since 2007, Mokhber chaired the Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order, a governmental organization tasked with managing properties confiscated following the Islamic revolution in 1979. 


The foundation, established in the 1980s, has over the years grown to become a major state economic conglomerate with shares in various sectors.


The United States Department of State has expressed its “official condolences” for the death of Raisi and other officials in the aforementioned helicopter crash.


“As Iran selects a new president, we reaffirm our support for the Iranian people and their struggle for human rights and fundamental freedoms,” stated department spokesman Matthew Miller in regards to the events in Iran. 


Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has stated that he cannot identify the cause of the helicopter crash.

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Adnan Shaheed
Hi! I'm an aspiring engineering student with an interest in aviation. I really took an interest in Aeroxplorer because it lets me do what I love: talk about planes to people.

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