Tuesday Briefing: What’s Next for Iran

Mourners gathered in Tehran yesterday.Credit…Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

Iran’s leaders move to project stability after the president’s death

The Iranian authorities have aimed to project order and control after President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian were killed in a helicopter crash. The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that the first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, would assume the role of acting president and must organize elections within 50 days.

Here is the latest.

Raisi’s death not only sets the stage for new presidential elections but also opens a new chapter of instability for the Islamic Republic.

Iran’s long-simmering shadow war with Israel burst out into the open after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, and the countries traded direct attacks. Domestically, many Iranians are calling for an end to clerical rule, and corruption and international sanctions have ravaged the economy. Khamenei is 85 and in declining health. Raisi, a conservative who crushed dissent, had been viewed as a possible successor.

Crash details: Iranian state media blamed a “technical failure.” Some suggested that decades of international sanctions played a role by preventing Iran from buying new Western planes or spare parts.

Analysis: Iran’s next leaders — who are almost certain to be hard-liners — will have to choose whether they will continue to operate with caution in their confrontations with the U.S.

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