Iran Declares Mourning, Mokhber Is Interim President

Photo of Iran’s late President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian courtesy of Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs FB.

TEHRAN, May 20 (Bernama) — Supreme Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has declared five days of public mourning following the martyrdom of President Ebrahim Raisi and his entourage in a helicopter crash in northwestern Iran. He has also approved Vice President Mohammad Mokhber as interim president.

In a message on Monday reported by Iran’s official news agency, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Ayatollah Khamenei expressed profound sadness over the death of Raisi in the tragic incident on Sunday.

The helicopter carrying Raisi and his accompanying delegation including Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian crashed in the Dizmar forest in East Azerbaijan province on Sunday, claiming the lives of all on board.

The Supreme Leader described Raisi as a hardworking cleric and a popular president who dedicated his life to serving the people of Iran, the country, and Islam.

“In this bitter tragedy, the Iranian nation lost a warm-hearted, humble, and valued servant,” said Ayatollah Khamenei, adding that Raisi never stopped his hard and round-the-clock work for the people of Iran.

Ayatollah Khamenei offered condolences to the Iranian nation and also expressed his sadness over the death of the officials accompanying Raisi in the helicopter including Amirabdollahian.

The IRNA report also stated that Ayatollah Khamenei approved Mokhber to take over as interim president and to cooperate with the heads of the Iranian parliament and judiciary to prepare the ground for the election of a new president within the next 50 days.