Iran’s President Raisi and Foreign Minister Die in a Helicopter Crash

Photos from the site of the Iran helicopter crash that killed President Raisi

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s foreign minister and others have been found dead at the site of a helicopter crash after an hourslong search through a foggy, mountainous region of the country’s northwest, state media reported. Raisi was 63.

Putin speaks on the phone with Iran’s acting president Mokhber

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday spoke on the phone with Mohammad Mokhber, Iran’s first vice president who has been named the country’s acting president following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi, the Kremlin said.

Putin extended his condolences to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Mokhber and “all the people of Iran,” and emphasized that he knew and appreciated Raisi “as a reliable partner who made an invaluable personal contribution to the development of friendly relations between Russia and Iran.”

Mokhber, the Kremlin said, “expressed sincere gratitude for the words of sympathy and support during this difficult time for the country.”

Both men “emphasized their mutual desire to further consistently strengthen comprehensive Russian-Iranian cooperation for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries.”

EU foreign policy chief offers condolences

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in a brief statement on Monday offered condolences for the deaths of Iran’s president and foreign minister and “other Iranian officials involved in the tragic helicopter crash.”

“The EU expresses its sympathies to the families of all the victims and to the Iranian citizens affected,” the statement said.

The French Foreign Ministry extended its “condolences” to the Islamic Republic, and said it was sending “its thoughts to the families of the victims of this accident.”

Iran’s nuclear negotiator appointed as foreign ministry caretaker, state TV reports

Iran’s acting president has appointed the country’s nuclear negotiator as the Foreign Ministry caretaker after Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian was killed in a helicopter crash, state TV reported Monday.

Acting President Mohammad Mokhber appointed Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s nuclear negotiator, as Foreign Ministry caretaker, Cabinet spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi was quoted as saying.

Mokhber was appointed acting president by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday after the crashed helicopter was found in northwestern Iran.

Who is Mohammad Mokhber, Iran’s acting president?

Iran’s first Vice President Mohammad Mokhber was appointed as acting president of the Islamic Republic on Monday after the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in the country’s northwest.

Mokhber, 68, largely has been in the shadows compared to other politicians in Iran’s Shiite theocracy. Raisi’s death under the constitution thrust Mokhber into public view. He is expected to serve as caretaker president for some 50 days before mandatory presidential elections in Iran.

Read more about the life of Mohammad Mokhber, a politician who has held prominent positions within the country’s power structure despite his low-key public profile.

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