Iran’s Supreme Leader Approves Mohammad Mokhber As Interim President

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Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday that First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber is in charge of the executive branch and has a maximum period of 50 days to hold elections following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported.

Iran’s three branches of government held an extraordinary meeting, with Mokhber representing the executive branch following Raisi’s death, state TV said.

“We will follow the path of President Raisi in fulfilling assigned duties without any interruption,” Mokhber said.

The three branches to which state TV referred are the executive, the legislative and the judiciary.

If a president dies in office, the Islamic Republic’s constitution says that the first vice president takes over for an interim period of 50 days, with the approval of the Supreme Leader, who has the final say in all matters of state in Iran.

Who is Mohammad Mokhber?

Born on Sept. 1, 1955, Mokhber, like Raisi, is seen as close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has the last say in all matters of state. Mokhber became first vice president in 2021 when Raisi was elected president.

He was part of a team of Iranian officials who visited Moscow in October and agreed to supply surface-to-surface missiles and more drones to Russia’s military. The team also included two senior officials from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and an official from the Supreme National Security Council.

Mokhber had previously been head of Setad, an investment fund linked to the supreme leader.

In 2010, the European Union included Mokhber on a list of individuals and entities it was sanctioning for alleged involvement in “nuclear or ballistic missile activities”. Two years later, it removed him from the list.

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