Trita Parsi on Future of Iran After President & Foreign Minister Die in Helicopter Crash

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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian were killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash along with several other officials and crew. Wreckage of the helicopter was found early Monday in a mountainous region of the country’s northwest following an overnight search in blizzard conditions. Raisi was returning from inaugurating a new dam built jointly with Azerbaijan along the two countries’ border. Raisi, 63, was elected in 2021 in a vote that saw the lowest-percentage turnout in the Islamic Republic’s history after major opposition candidates were disqualified from taking part. Analyst Trita Parsi says the president’s death will have little impact on the Islamic Republic’s policies, including barring dissident candidates from running for office. “Now the regime is going to have to try to whip up and mobilize voters and excitement for an election within 50 days,” he says. “And it has to make a decision: Is it actually going to allow other candidates to stand, or is it going to continue on the path that it has set out for itself in which these elections increasingly become rather meaningless in terms of actual democratic value?”

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