Iran’s new president is Moghar: Ayatollah’s confidant

After Raisi’s death, interim president Mohamed Mogbar assumes office until elections. Hardliners have long been part of the highest circles of power.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei did not let much time pass after the death of President Ibrahim Raisi. He announced his successor at condolence rallies: current First Vice President Mohammad Moghar will remain in charge until the next elections.

Khamenei has relied on loyalty and continuity in turbulent times at home: The 68-year-old, who will join Raisi in 2021, is also considered a hardliner. He is a close confidant of spiritual and political leader Khamenei, who has the final say on all state affairs.

At the same time, the ayatollah on Monday appointed Mochber, along with the heads of the judiciary and parliament, to organize new elections within 50 days. “There will be no interruption in government activities,” Khamenei assured. Ali Bagheri, the current chief nuclear negotiator, will be acting foreign minister.

Drones for Russia

Mochber made a major appearance on foreign policy last October when he visited Moscow as part of an Iranian delegation.

According to insiders, the mullahs’ regime in Tehran agreed at the time to supply additional drones and surface-to-surface missiles that Russia would use in its war against Ukraine. Mochber was accompanied by two senior representatives of the powerful Revolutionary Guard and a representative of the Supreme National Security Council.

Mochber has always belonged to the highest circles of power: before his time as vice president, he was head of the investment firm Setad, which reports to Iran’s Supreme Leader. The “Headquarters for Execution of the Imam’s Order” was established by the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and initially managed abandoned properties in the tumultuous years following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. However, it has now grown into one of Iran’s most powerful economic institutions, with assets worth billions of dollars.

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In the sanctions list

In 2010, the European Union added Mochber to a list of individuals and entities it sanctioned for engaging in “nuclear or ballistic missile activities”. Two years later she removed him from the list again.

In 2013, the US Department of the Treasury added 37 companies run by Setad and its affiliates to the sanctions list. (Reuters, ed.)

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