June 20, 2024

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Iranian helicopter crash: Iranian president dies in office. Who will succeed Khamenei?

Iranian helicopter crash: Iranian president dies in office.  Who will succeed Khamenei?

Jerusalem (AP) – Death President of Iran This is unlikely to lead to any immediate changes in Iran’s ruling regime or its overall policies, which are decided by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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

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

Here’s a look at what comes next.

How does the Iranian government work?

Iran holds regular elections for the president and parliament 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 the members of the 12-member Guardian Council, a clerical body that vets candidates for president and parliament, and the Assembly of Experts, an elected body of jurists responsible for selecting the supreme leader.

In theory, clerics oversee the republic to ensure its compliance with Islamic law. In practice, the Supreme Leader carefully manages the ruling regime to balance competing interests, advance his own priorities, and ensure that no one challenges the Islamic Republic or his role at its helm.

Raisi, a hardliner who was seen as a protege of Khamenei, was elected president in 2021 after the Guardian Council banned any other known candidate from running against him, and the turnout was the lowest in the history of the Islamic Republic. He succeeds Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate who served as president for the past eight years and defeated Raisi in 2017.

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After my boss diedAccording to the Iranian Constitution, Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, Relative unknownHe became interim president, with elections to be held within 50 days. This vote will likely be carefully managed to produce a president who maintains the status quo.

This means that Iran will continue to impose a certain degree of Islamic rule and suppress dissent. He will enrich uranium Supporting armed groups throughout the Middle East They look at the West with deep suspicion.

What does this mean for succession?

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

If any major change comes to 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 was succeeded by the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in 1989.

The next supreme leader will be chosen by the 88-seat Assembly of Experts, which is elected every eight years from among candidates vetted by the Guardian Council. In the last electionsIn March, Rouhani was banned from running, while Raisi won a seat.

Any discussion of the succession, or the machinations surrounding it, takes place out of the public eye, making it difficult to know who might be in the running. But the two people who analysts see as the most likely to succeed Khamenei are Raisi and the son of the Supreme Leader, Mojtaba (55 years old), a Shiite cleric who has never held any government position.

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What would happen if the Supreme Leader’s son succeeded him?

Since the 1979 revolution, the leaders of the Islamic Republic have portrayed their regime as superior not only to the democracies of the decadent West, but to the military dictatorships and monarchies prevalent throughout 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 clerical rule, but also among supporters of the regime who may see it as un-Islamic.

Western sanctions related to the nuclear program It destroyed Iran’s economy. The application of Islamic rule, which became more severe under Raisi, also further alienated women and youth.

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

The death of my boss could make the transition to a new supreme leader more difficult and could spark more unrest.