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What to know about Iranian Acting President Mohammad Mokhbel

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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, now around 68 years old, became First Vice President in August 2021.

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.

Riley Nikunazar Contributed reporting.

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