Iran’s President Raisi dead in helicopter crash

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Israel’s war against the Hamas group backed by Iran means the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi comes at a testing time for the region, but it is unlikely to change how the Islamic Republic deals with Gaza or the West, geopolitical experts have told Newsweek.

Iran has declared five days of mourning after Raisi died in a helicopter crash on Sunday en route to the city of Tabriz after returning from the border with Azerbaijan. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, General Malek Rahmati, were among those on board.

Raisi was the second-most-important figure in Iran, after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. There is speculation about the consequences for his demise, given Iran’s backing for Hamas, tit-for-tat missile strikes on Israel, and a warning by a senior lawmaker about Tehran’s ability to make a nuclear weapon within days.

“Raisi’s sudden demise does not portend a sea change in how Iran formulates and acts upon its interests abroad,” Ali Vaez, director of Iran Project at the International Crisis Group (ICG), told Newsweek.

Under Iran’s constitution, vice president Mohammad Mokhber will assume control, and elections will be held within 50 days, but there could be diplomatic ructions caused by Raisi’s death.


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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!