Iran to focus on presidential election after Raisi's sudden death

Media reports suggest Mohammad Mokhber, who took over Iran's reign after Riasi's death, himself plans a run

Web Desk
Iran to focus on presidential election after Raisis sudden death
Deceased Iranian president Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi. — Iranian Embassy
  • Interim President Mokhber also plans to run for presidential polls.
  • Ex-president Ahmadinejad undecided on registering for elections.
  • Former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili to also stand as candidate.

In the wake of president Ebrahim Raisi's sudden death in a helicopter crash, Iran has now shifted its focus on finding his successor to lead the country.

The Islamic Republic's conservative camp is seeking a loyalist to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the lead up to the vote set to take place on June 28. 

The country's Guardian Council, a conservative-dominated vetting body, will approve the candidacy for hopeful applying for the post of president.

The ultraconservative Raisi lost his life on May 19, alongside his foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and six others, when the copter carrying them crashed due to bad weather in mountains near the Azerbaijan border.

Riasi still had more than a year of tenure left as the president.

However, June vote will be held during a turbulent time, as Iran faces sustained economic hardship, exacerbated by tough sanctions reimposed by the United States after it withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal.

Khamenei, who has the final say in all matters of state, has assigned Raisi's vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, 68, to assume interim duties for the next few weeks and organise the June election.

Media reports suggest Mokhber himself plans a run, as do parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and several prominent former officials.

Among other hopefuls, ultraconservative former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili was one of the first to announce his desire to stand.

Other contenders include moderate former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and centrist Ali Larijani, a former parliament speaker.

Populist ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has so far kept voters guessing and said he is "checking the conditions to decide whether to register".

"We have to wait for positive developments in the country," he added.

— Additional input by AFP