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‪Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Dies In Helicopter Crash

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After a night-long search operation hampered by bad weather, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and other top officials have been declared dead.

The IRNA state news agency says that also on board were Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Al-e Hashem, the imam for Friday prayers in the city of Tabriz, and General Malek Rahmati, the governor of the Iranian province of East Azerbaijan.

The commander of the president’s protection unit, Sardar Seyed Mehdi Mousavi, was also killed, as were a number of bodyguards and helicopter crew who have not yet been named.

The helicopter carrying President Raisi made a “hard landing” after it got into difficulties, state media reported.

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The details of what happened remain unclear.

According to local media, Raisi was heading to the city of Tabriz, in the north west of Iran, after returning from the border with Azerbaijan, where he opened the Qiz Qalasi and Khodaafarin dams

The helicopter was one of three travelling in a convoy.

Next Iran’s President 

According to the Iranian Constitution, the first Vice President – Mohammad Mokhber – will now take over as the new president of the country for 50 days.

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During this period, a high-powered council comprising the first vice president, the Speaker of Parliament and the chief of the judiciary have to make sure new elections are held.

Article 131 of the Iranian Constitution stipulates this, in the event of the death or illness of the sitting president.

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“In the event of the death, removal, resignation, absence or illness of the president for more than two months, or in the event that the term of the presidency has ended and the new president has not yet been elected due to obstacles, the first vice president assumes his powers and responsibilities with the agreement of the leadership, and a council consisting of the speaker of the parliament, the head of the judiciary and the first vice president is obliged to arrange for early presidential elections to be held within a maximum period of fifty days,” says the article.

Raisi was elected Iran’s president in 2021 after winning by a landslide, garnering 17.9 million votes out of the 28.9 million cast during the polls.

He previously headed the Iranian judiciary and also served as the head of the revered Imam Reza Shrine in the city of Mashhad, his hometown.

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