Constitution, election, Supreme Guide… What will happen in Iran after the death of President Raïssi?

Constitution, election, Supreme Guide… What will happen in Iran after the death of President Raïssi?
Constitution, election, Supreme Guide… What will happen in Iran after the death of President Raïssi?

Skiller in Iran. The death of President Ebrahim Raïssi was confirmed on Monday May 20, the day after the accident of his helicopter, in the northwest of the country on the border with Azerbaijan. The announcement of his disappearance opens an uncertain political period in the country, a major player in the Middle East, a region shaken by the war in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas. Replacement, new elections… We take stock of what awaits Iran in the coming weeks.

Mohammad Mokhber as replacement

Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi will be replaced by the first vice-president, Mohammad Mokhber, as provided for in article 131 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic. This text indicates “that in the event of death, dismissal, resignation, absence or illness of a duration greater than two months of the president”, it is the first vice-president who “will assume the powers of the president “. This transition must be done with “the approval of the Supreme Leader”, Ali Khamenei.

Mohammad Mokhber, born in Dezfoul in the province of Khuzestan (southwest), should therefore assume the interim presidency at 68 years old. He was appointed first vice-president in August 2021. A politician, he was also a business manager and has chaired the Foundation of the Order of the Imam (Setad) since 2007. This foundation was established in the late 1980s to manage properties confiscated following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Over the years, it has become a major state economic conglomerate with shares in various sectors, including including health.

A presidential election within 50 days

The appointment of Mohammad Mokhber as head of the country should not last more than 50 days. The Constitution provides that a council “composed of the President of Parliament, the head of justice and the first vice-president is required to organize the election of a new president within a maximum period of 50 days”.

Bernard Hourcarde, research director at CNRS interviewed by Release, indicated several potential presidential candidates, who were already preparing for that of 2025. Among them, the leader of Parliament, Mohammad Ghaliba or the former president, Hassan Rouhani. The specialist is also counting on the candidacy of Manoutchehr Mottaki, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, that of Mohsen Rezahi, former commander of the Revolutionary Guards, or Mojtaba Zolnouri, conservative MP.

What social and geopolitical consequences?

If the disappearance of Ebrahim Raïssi is a shock in Iran, it should not rock the country. As Bernard Hourcade reminds us, for Release, “the boss is the Supreme Guide, Ali Khamenei” and Iran “is too well controlled by him”. However, this event could awaken tensions in a country hit by an economic and social crisis.

On the government side, we assure that the death of the president will have no consequences. “We assure the loyal nation that, with the help of God and the support of the people, there will not be the slightest disruption in the administration of the country,” it was said in a statement Monday morning .

At the geopolitical level, this death still opens a period of political uncertainty in Iran, a major player in the Middle East, a region shaken by the war in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas. Again on Sunday, during a press conference, Ebrahim Raïssi once again supported Hamas against Israel.

“We believe that Palestine is the first question of the Muslim world,” he declared. In April, Iran launched an unprecedented attack against Israel, with 350 drones and missiles, most of which were intercepted with the help of the United States and several other allied countries.

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