Mokhber led the Iranian supreme leader’s multibillion-dollar charitable conglomerate for 14 years.

Mohammad Mokhber is Iran’s acting president now, after the late President Ebrahim Raisi and other officials were confirmed dead in a helicopter crash and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei approved his accession to the role.

The former first vice president held an extraordinary meeting with the head of the judiciary Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei and Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the speaker of parliament, on Monday morning.

According to the constitution, the three must initiate a new presidential election to be held within 50 days.

Mokhber will remain acting president until then. “We will follow Raisi’s path in carrying out the duties entrusted to him without any interruptions,” he said, quoted by state media.

First Vice President

Mokhber was appointed first vice president by Raisi in August 2021, shortly after Raisi took office.

He is the seventh person to hold this role since the revision of the constitution in 1989 – and one of the most influential.

As first vice president, Mokhber traveled throughout the country to inaugurate a variety of government development projects and accompanied Raisi or led delegations himself on many foreign trips. He reportedly visited Russia, along with senior military and security officials, to discuss arms transfers.

Mokhber was on a list of individuals and entities sanctioned by the European Union in 2010 for alleged involvement in activities related to Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Two years later, the bloc removed him from the list.

Unlike other countries, Iran’s first vice presidency is an appointed – not elected – position that assumed some of the powers of the prime minister after the position was abolished in 1989.

There are several appointed vice presidents serving simultaneously in Iran, each taking on different aspects of executive affairs but operating primarily as a cabinet.

Mokhber’s position was the main one among the vice presidents.

He was selected because he had a strong connection to the office of supreme leader, like the late president himself, and to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

He was also seen as a man of action, with long experience in managing large-scale executive affairs.


Before his appointment to the vice presidency, Mokhber served for 14 years as head of Iran’s Setad, or Organization for the Execution of the Order of Imam Khomeini.

Setad is a highly powerful economic conglomerate established under Iran’s first supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, to focus on charitable matters.

It is now believed to be worth tens of billions of dollars and remains under the direct control of the Iranian supreme leader.

Setad and Mokhber were sanctioned by the United States in 2021, with the US Treasury alleging that the organization was involved in rights violations, among other things, including violating “the rights of dissidents by confiscating land and property from opponents of the regime.”

Mokhber was the head of Setad during the onset of COVID-19, at a time when Iran was by far the hardest hit by the pandemic in the Middle East. Almost 150,000 people have died from COVID, according to official figures – with the real numbers believed to be much higher.

Under his supervision, Setad developed COVIran Barekat, the main coronavirus vaccine manufactured by the state.

Early life

Born in Dezful, in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, the 68-year-old graduated in electrical engineering and also has a doctorate in international law.

He was active in banking and communications early in his career, serving as head of the Khuzestan Telecommunications Authority and later being promoted to deputy governor of the province in the 1990s.

Before ascending to Setad, Mokhber was a deputy in another bonyad, the powerful Mostazafan Foundation, which was also founded by Supreme Leader Khomeini as a charitable foundation.



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