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Tuesday Briefing

Mourning in Tehran yesterday.Credit…Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

Iran’s leaders moved to project stability

A deadly helicopter crash that killed the Iranian president and foreign minister on Sunday resulted from “technical failure,” Iranian state news media reported. Here’s the latest news, and what we know about the crash.

The deaths of President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian have left Iran without two influential leaders at a particularly tumultuous political moment. But experts said they expected little change in its foreign or domestic policies. Iran’s long-simmering shadow war with Israel burst out into the open after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, and the countries have traded direct attacks in recent months.

The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said there would be “no disruption” to the government’s work. Iran’s first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, would assume the role of acting president and must organize elections for a new president within 50 days, Ayatollah Khamenei added. But Raisi’s death complicates a difficult search for the next ruler.

U.S. response: In the eyes of the Biden administration, Raisi was a brutal tyrant, a sworn enemy and a threat to world peace. But within hours of confirmation of his death, the U.S. State Department announced its “official condolences,” in a delicate diplomatic ritual.

Analysis: Iran’s next leaders — who are almost certain to also be hard-liners — will have to choose whether they will continue to operate with caution in their confrontations with the U.S.


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