Iran mourns after death of president, Veep named asked to act

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has confirmed First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber as the country’s acting president after President Ebrahim Raisi’s death in a helicopter crash that also killed Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.

Several officials, including a provincial governor, were on board when the aircraft went down in northern Iran’s East Azerbaijan province. They all are believed to be dead.

Khamenei also declares five days of national mourning. New elections will be held within 50 days.

World and regional leaders send condolences following the deaths of Raisi and Amirabdollahian.

Mohammad Bagheri, Iran’s military chief of staff, has ordered a probe into the cause of the helicopter crash, according to the country’s ISNA news agency.

Bagheri ordered “a high-ranking committee to launch an investigation into the cause of the president’s helicopter crash”, the report said. The helicopter that crashed did not have its signal system turned on or did not possess such a system, according to Turkish Transport Minister Abdulkadir Uraloglu.

Uraloglu told reporters that since Iran fell within Turkey’s area of responsibility for emergency response, authorities had checked for a signal from the helicopter upon hearing news that it had crashed.

“But unfortunately, [we think] most likely the signal system was turned off or that the helicopter did not have that signal system … ,” he said.



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