Iran’s acting president addresses new Parliament after helicopter crash assassination, others

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Iran’s acting President Mohammad Mokhber addresses the opening ceremony of a new term in Tehran, Iran, on May 27, 2024. | Photo credit: AP

Iran’s acting President Mohammad Mokhber addressed the country’s new parliament on May 27 in his first public speech since last week’s helicopter crash that killed his predecessor and seven others.

His speech comes as Iran prepares for a presidential election to replace the late Ebrahim Raisi in just a month, a vote in which the previously behind-the-scenes bureaucrat could potentially run alongside others. Meanwhile, Iran’s new hardline parliament is expected to elect its new speaker on Tuesday.

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In his remarks, Mr Mokhber praised Raisi’s tenure and noted that Iran’s crude oil production – a major source of hard currency for the country – rose to more than 3.6 million barrels per day. That comes after Oil Minister Javad Owji said on Sunday that Iran is now exporting about 2 million barrels a day despite Western sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Mr Mokhber also claimed that the country’s economy remained stable under Raisi as Iran took military action in Iraq, Israel and Pakistan in recent months.

“Three countries were affected. We hit Israel, people notice that numbers and indexes are the same in the morning when they wake up, the price of hard currency is the same, inflation is the same, liquidity is the same and the market is full of people’s needs,’ Mokhber claimed. . “This strength, this arrangement and this power are not common, they were all due to the guidance of the Supreme Leader and the sincere efforts of Ayatollah Raisi.”

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The Iranian rial has fallen from a rate of 32,000 rials to $1 at the time of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Today the amount stands at around 580,000 to 1 dollar, in the wake of the US’s unilateral withdrawal from the accord and a series of attacks on shipping in the Middle East, first blamed on Iran and later involving Yemen’s Houthi rebels were involved, such as Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. started over seven months ago.

On May 20, rescuers recovered the bodies of Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and others in a mountainous area of ​​northwestern Iran after a fatal helicopter crash.

Iran will hold presidential elections to replace Raisi on June 28. A five-day registration period for candidates opens on Thursday. Analysts have suggested that Mokhber could be among those who sign up.

Meanwhile, Monday was the first day for the newly elected Iranian parliament, following elections in March that saw the country’s lowest turnout since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Of those elected to the 290-seat organization, the hardliners hold more than 230 seats , according to a Associated press questionnaire.

Iran’s parliament plays a minor role in the country’s governance, although it can increase pressure on a presidential administration when deciding on the annual budget and other major bills. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 85, has the final say in all major state affairs.

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