Home News Iranian state media reports Raisi died in car accident

Iranian state media reports Raisi died in car accident

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After the death of President Ibrahim Raisi, Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhbel became acting president. Mokhbel is a conservative politician who has long been involved in a large business conglomerate close to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Khamenei said in a statement on Monday that Mokhbel must work with the heads of the legislature and judiciary to hold new presidential elections within 50 days.

Iran’s vice president usually keeps a low profile, functioning more as a player within the government than a public figure.

“Traditionally, Iran’s vice president has not been a contender to succeed his boss,” said Robin Wright, a co-researcher at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Wilson Center in Washington. “The bigger question,” she added, “is who the regime will allow to run for this position.”

Mr. Mokhbel, who is around 68 years old, became First Vice President in August 2021. He is from Khuzestan province in southwestern Iran, which borders Iraq and the Persian Gulf. He served as deputy governor there and served as a member of the Revolutionary Guards’ medical corps during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.

One of Mohbel’s relatively few high-profile appearances was when he and three other senior Iranian officials traveled to Moscow in 2017. October 2022 Completed the sale of Iranian drones and ballistic missiles to Russia for use in the Ukraine war.

Mokhbel holds senior positions in some of Iran’s most powerful organizations, including the Mustazafan Foundation, Sina Bank and Setad, a multibillion-dollar company controlled entirely by Ayatollah Khamenei. conglomerate), Lacey later selected him to serve as vice president. – not entirely successful – in effort Manufacturing and distributing Covid-19 vaccines.

All three organizations are part of a network of opaque financial entities with ties to the Iranian state, although they are not directly state-owned. They also relate to projects prioritized by the top leader and his inner circle.

Mokhbel’s involvement demonstrates that he is a successful behind-the-scenes player familiar with the financing networks that are central to Iran’s official power structure.

The Mostazafan Foundation, where Mr Mohbel worked in the early 2000s, is an official charity but according to U.S. Treasury Department Serving as “an important patronage network for the Supreme Leader,” it includes stakes in key sectors of Iran’s economy, including finance, energy, construction and mining.It is the subject of sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department because it is controlled by Mr Khamenei, who said it was created in part to “seize and manage property in Iran, including property originally belonging to religious minorities”, including Baha’is and Jews.

The U.S. Treasury said the foundation transferred some of its funds to individuals and entities in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps involved in terrorism and human rights abuses.

Sina Bank faces sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department and the European Union Financing Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Mohber appears to have risen to the top of Iran’s political leadership, in part because of his close relationship with the country’s supreme leader, which dates back to at least 2007, when he joined Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (SETAD) ) leadership. Within months of his appointment to Setad, Mr. Mokhbel founded the Barakat Foundation, which owns several companies, including a major Iranian medical and pharmaceutical company.

While Khamenei’s relationship with the Supreme Leader will be important during the organization of the election, analysts say more senior officials around Khamenei will decide how to handle this sensitive period in Iran.

“The regime is at a political, economic and even military turning point,” Ms. Wright said, noting Iran launches massive air strikes on Israel Last month, the message was almost completely blocked, which she called a “humiliating failure.” Low turnout in March parliamentary elections She added that it was also a sign that Iran’s theocracy was in trouble.

“It is very nervous about its future and the durability of its core ideology,” she said.

Riley Nikunazar Contributed reporting.

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