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The helicopter carrying Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi.

Is The Death Of Iran’s President Being Treated As Suspicious?

Iran’s president and foreign minister died during a helicopter crash earlier this week, raising questions about the future of Iran’s power structure and suspicion about what caused the crash.

There is a major political divide in Iran, meaning while many are mourning President Ebrahim Raisi’s death, many are celebrating.

The Supreme Leader sits above the President and has a final say on all matters of state. Raisi was expected to be next in line to fill the role.

Middle East politics expert Shahram Akbarzadeh unpacked the incident and what it means for Iran’s future on The Briefing:

Middle East politics expert Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh said Raisi was loyal to the Supreme Leader, and “made his way up the chain of command” by pushing the ideological agenda of the Islamic Republic.

President Raisi served as a prosecutor of Tehran and was believed to have ordered the executions of thousands of political prisoners.

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The Briefing host Antoinette Lattouf said there have been growing suspicions about whether the death was an assassination.

The helicopter crash came after an exchange of missile strikes between Iran and Israel.

“Are you confident that this isn’t suspicious and more to do with, as you say, very old aircraft and lack of access to spare parts?” Lattouf asked.

Akbarzadeh replied, “I wouldn’t blame people to be suspicious that something is happening here … But there hasn’t been any suggestion of foul play”

“The Iranian authorities have not suggested anything otherwise. And in fact, if they do suggest otherwise, then there will be major implications.”

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