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Iran helicopter crash: Iran President has died in office. Who succeeds Khamenei?

JERUSALEM (AP) – The death of The Iranian President It is unlikely to lead to immediate changes in Iran’s system of government or its overall policies, decided by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

But Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday, was seen as a prime candidate to succeed the 85-year-old supreme leader, and his death makes it more likely that the job could eventually go to Khamenei’s son.

Hereditary succession would pose a potential crisis of legitimacy for the Islamic Republic, which was established as an alternative to the monarchy but which many Iranians already view as a corrupt and dictatorial regime.

Here’s a preview of what’s to come.

HOW DOES THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT WORK?

Iran regularly holds presidential and parliamentary elections by universal suffrage.

But the supreme leader has the final say on all major policies, serves as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and controls the powerful Revolutionary Guards.

The supreme leader also appoints half of the 12 members of the Guardian Council, a religious body that reviews candidates for the presidency, parliament and the Assembly of Experts, an elected body of jurists charged with choosing the supreme leader.

In theory, clerics oversee the republic to ensure it follows Islamic law. In practice, the supreme leader carefully manages the ruling system to balance competing interests, advance his own priorities, and ensure that no one challenges the Islamic Republic or his role at its top.

Raisi, a hardliner seen as a protégé of Khamenei, was elected president in 2021 after the Guardian Council blocked any other well-known candidates from running against him, and turnout was the lowest of the history of the Islamic Republic. He succeeded Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate who had been president for the past eight years and defeated Raisi in 2017.

After the death of Raïssiin accordance with the Iranian constitution, Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, an unknown relative, became interim president, with mandatory elections within 50 days. This vote will likely be carefully managed to produce a president who will maintain the status quo.

This means that Iran will continue to impose some degree of Islamic rule and suppress dissent. It will enrich uranium, supporting armed groups across the Middle East and view the West with deep distrust.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR SUCCESSION?

Presidents come and go, some more moderate than others, but each operates within the structure of the ruling system.

If major change occurs in Iran, it will likely come after Khamenei’s death, when a new supreme leader will be chosen for only the second time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Khamenei succeeded the founder of the Islamic Republic, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in 1989.

The next supreme leader will be chosen by the 88-seat Assembly of Experts, elected every eight years from candidates approved by the Guardian Council. During the last electionsin March, Rouhani was barred from running, while Raisi won a seat.

Any discussion of succession, or the machinations related to it, takes place away from the public eye, making it difficult to know who might be in the running. But the two people analysts saw as most likely to succeed Khamenei were Raisi and the supreme leader’s own son, Mojtaba, 55, a Shiite cleric who has never held government office.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE SUPREME LEADER’S SON SUCCEEDS HIM?

The Islamic Republic’s leaders since the 1979 revolution have presented their system as superior not only to the democracies of a decadent West, but also to the military dictatorships and monarchies that predominate in the Middle East.

The transfer of power from the supreme leader to his son could spark anger, not only among Iranians who are already critical of the clerical regime, but also among supporters of the system who might view it as un-Islamic.

Western sanctions linked to the nuclear program devastated the Iranian economy. And the application of the Islamic regime, which became more severe under Raisi, has further alienated women and young people.

The Islamic Republic has faced several waves of popular protests in recent years, the most recent being after the death in 2022 of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested for not covering her hair in public. More than 500 people have been killed and more than 22,000 arrested in a violent crackdown.

Raisi’s death could make the transition to a new supreme leader more difficult and could trigger more unrest.

News Source : apnews.com
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jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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