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Following Iran's President's demise, Supreme Leader Khamenei announces 5 days of national mourning

Tehran [Iran]: Following the demise of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash on Sunday afternoon, country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, has announced five days of national mourning in Iran, according to Press TV.

Khamenei declared the same in a message on Monday, and stated that he received the "bitter news" of the death of his "companions with great sorrow."

"Dear Raeisi did not know fatigue," Ayatollah Khamenei said, adding that the Iranian nation lost a sincere and valuable servant in this tragic incident, according to Press TV.

According to Article 131 of the Constitution, Vice President Mohammad Mokhber assumes managing the executive branch, the Leader said.

Ayatollah Khamenei urged Mokhber to arrange to elect a new president within a maximum of 50 days in cooperation with the other two heads of the three branches of the government.

The Iranian president, foreign minister and their accompanying delegation lost their lives after the helicopter carrying them crashed in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan due to harsh weather conditions on Sunday. Their bodies were found on Monday after an extensive night-long search operation.

Mokhber, born in 1955, like Raisi, is seen as being close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Shortly after taking office, Raisi had appointed Mokhber as his first vice president in August 2021, according to Al Jazeera.

In 2010, the European Union included Mokhber on a list of individuals and entities it was sanctioning for alleged involvement in "nuclear or ballistic missile activities".

Two years later, it removed him from the list.

According to Press TV, Ayatollah Khamenei urged Mokhber to arrange to elect a new president within a maximum of 50 days in cooperation with the other two heads of the three branches of the government.

Meanwhile, Ali Bagheri Kani is appointed as Iran's acting foreign minister, following the death of Hossein Amirabdollahian.

He has served as deputy foreign minister since September 2021.

Kani was deputy secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council between 2007 and 2013, according to Al Jazeera.

Iranian state media earlier today confirmed the deaths of 63-year-old Raisi, his foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and seven others in Sunday's helicopter crash in the mountainous region of the country's East Azerbaijan province.

Earlier today, Iranian state media IRNA shared drone footage shot by the Red Crescent showing the wreckage of the crashed helicopter.

News outlet Tasnim, which is affiliated with the country's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, reported that Raisi's funeral will be held tomorrow in Tabriz.

The helicopter carrying Raisi, Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian, and his accompanying delegation crashed a day ago in the Dizmar forest, nestled between the cities of Varzaqan and Jolfa in East Azarbaijan Province, state media outlet Press TV reported today.

The Iranian President was returning following a visit to Azerbaijan when his helicopter came down in bad weather conditions. 

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