Iran’s hardline Paydari Front eyes a political vacuum after Raisi’s death

As Iran heads for a snap presidential poll following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash, the Paydari Front, a little-known but influential ultra-conservative party, is seeking to extend its hold on state institutions. That could spell bad news for Iranians who want more liberties and for a region roiled by the fallout of the Israel-Hamas war.

The sudden death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has plunged the Islamic Republic into a political fog as thick as that enveloping the mountainous Varzeqan region of northern Iran, where Raisi’s helicopter went down on Sunday.

The crash came a week after the country held run-off parliamentary elections, with the influential position of speaker in the unicameral Majlis still to be decided. While the executive and legislative branches of the government are currently leaderless, the most powerful man in the land, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, turned 85 in April and is believed to be in frail health.

In accordance with the Iranian constitution, the country’s first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, was appointed transitional president on Monday and called for a presidential election in 50 days.

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