Iran first vice president to become interim president, Khamenei says

Following the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber would assume interim duties until a presidential election is held.

A helicopter carrying Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and seven others went down in the northwestern Iranian province of East Azerbaijan on Sunday.

The wreckage was discovered the following day. Iranian state-run media reported that everyone on board was confirmed dead.

The media also say bad weather, including fog, likely led to the crash.

Khamenei issued a statement expressing his condolences and announced five days of public mourning.

He also said a presidential election would be held within 50 days.

State media reported that a funeral is planned in a town near the crash site on Tuesday.

Raisi was known as a hardline conservative. After taking office in 2021, he cracked down on anti-government protestors. His government opposed Western countries. It supported anti-Israel armed organizations, including Palestinian group Hamas, and strengthened cooperation with Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine.

The impact of Raisi's death on domestic politics and regional stability will be closely watched.