What to know about Mohammad Mokhber, interim president of Iran

With the death of President Ebrahim Raisi, Iran's first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, becomes interim president. Mr. Mokhber is a conservative politician with a long history of involvement in large business conglomerates closely linked to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In a statement on Monday, Khamenei said Mokhber must work with the heads of the legislature and judiciary to hold elections for a new president within 50 days.

Vice presidents in Iran typically have a low profile and operate more as actors within the government than as public figures.

“Iranian vice presidents have not traditionally been contenders to succeed their leaders,” said Robin Wright, a fellow at the US Institute of Peace and the Wilson Center in Washington. “The bigger question,” he added, “is who the regime will allow to run for that office.”

Mr. Mokhber is around 68 years old and became first vice president in August 2021.

One of Mokhber's relatively few high-profile appearances came when he and three other senior Iranian officials traveled to Moscow in October 2022 to complete a sale of Iranian drones and ballistic missiles to Russia, for use in the war in Ukraine.

Raisi chose him as vice president after Mokhber held senior positions in some of Iran's most powerful organizations, including the Mostazafan Foundation, Bank Sina and Setad, a conglomerate wholly owned by Ayatollah Khamenei that has billions of dollars in activities and has been involved – not entirely successfully – in efforts to produce and distribute a vaccine against Covid-19.

All three organizations are part of an opaque network of financial entities linked to the Iranian state, although they are not directly state-owned. They are also connected to projects that are priorities for the supreme leader and his inner circle.

Leily Nikounazar contributed to the reporting.

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