Iranian Foreign Minister killed in helicopter crash replaced by Ali Bageri

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdullahiyan, who died along with President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash on Sunday, was replaced by Ali Bageri.

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bageri, has been appointed interim head of Iranian diplomacy after Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdulahian was killed in a helicopter crash. The statement was made by government spokesman, Ali Bahaduri Jahrumi.

Bageri, 56, who is considered close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, was appointed deputy foreign minister and chief negotiator on the nuclear issue in September 2021.

After the deal was signed in 2015, Bageri repeatedly criticised the government of then-President Hassan Rouhani for accepting restrictions on the country's nuclear programme and allowing "foreigners" access to Iranian facilities.

However, in September 2023, Bageri defended the negotiations with the West, this time criticising "those who, under the guise of defending values, try to portray the negotiations as anti-value".

According to local media, Bagheri said that these people "in reality want to deprive the Islamic Republic of a key and important tool to guarantee its national interests".

Negotiations have stalled since the US unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 on the initiative of then-President Donald Trump.