Iran's supreme leader appoints First Vice President as acting president after Raisi's death

Meanwhile, leaders from across the globe conveyed their condolences; Lebanon declared three days of mourning in response to the Iranian President's death.
In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in meeting a group of families of the Revolutionary Guard members in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, May 19, 2024.
In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in meeting a group of families of the Revolutionary Guard members in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, May 19, 2024. Photo | AP

DUBAI: Iran’s supreme leader has appointed First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber as country’s acting president after a helicopter crash killed President Ebrahim Raisi.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the announcement in a condolence message he shared for Raisi’s death in the crash Sunday. The helicopter was found Monday in northwestern Iran.

Khamenei also announced five days of mourning in the message.

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in meeting a group of families of the Revolutionary Guard members in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, May 19, 2024.
Who is Iran's first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, appointed acting president after helicopter crash?

Afghanistan's Taliban rulers on Monday said they were deeply saddened by the deaths of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and the country's foreign minister in a helicopter crash.

“We share our grief with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the people of that country and offer our condolences to all the families of the victims, the nation and the government of Iran,” the Taliban prime minister, Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, said in a statement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan conveyed his condolences to the Iranian people and government over the deaths of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and other officials in a helicopter crash.

Erdogan said in a statement posted on social platform X that he remembers Raisi “with respect and gratitude” and praised his “efforts for the peace of the Iranian people and our region during his time in office.”

Turkish authorities dispatched a drone late on Sunday to help locate the wreckage and early on Monday released footage showing what appeared to be a fire in the wilderness that they “suspected to be the wreckage of a helicopter."

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday extended his “deep condolences” to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, calling the deaths of the country’s president and other officials a “huge tragedy” and “a difficult, irreparable loss.”

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Putin said in a statement released by the Kremlin, was “an outstanding politician whose entire life was devoted to serving the Motherland.”

“He rightfully enjoyed high respect from his compatriots and significant authority abroad. As a true friend of Russia, he made an invaluable personal contribution to the development of good neighborly relations between our countries and made great efforts to bring them to the level of strategic partnership,” the Russian president said.

Putin said that he had met Raisi several times and “will forever retain the fondest memory of this wonderful man.”

Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati declared three days of mourning in the country in response to the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, with flags at official institutions to be flown at half-staff.

Lebanon’s political factions are deeply divided between those in support of Iran and its protege, Hezbollah, and those opposed to Iranian influence in the country.

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