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Oil prices edge higher following death of Iran’s president

Oil prices rose slightly on Monday after a helicopter carrying the Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi crashed Sunday afternoon. 

All passengers onboard the helicopter, including the 63-year-old president, the country’s foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and six others, were killed when the helicopter crashed in the northwestern mountainous forests. 

Brent crude rose 46 cents to $84.43 at 8.01am BST on Monday, the highest in May. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 28 cents to $80.36 a barrel at 8.31am BST. Iran exported $35.87 billion worth of crude oil in the 12 months ending March 2024, the Iranian Labour News Agency reported last month, quoting the head of customs administration Mohammad Rezvanifar.

The helicopter, carrying Raisi, crashed in the Varzaqan region of East Azerbaijan province on Sunday. 

The aircraft was returning from a ceremony where Raisi had inaugurated the joint Qiz-Qalasi dam project on Iran's border with Azerbaijan earlier that day. 

The wreckage of the helicopter was discovered early Monday morning after a search and rescue operation that lasted several hours.  

In the wake of the president's death, the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei appointed vice president Mohammad Mokhber as acting president. The country’s deputy foreign minister Ali Baqeri Kani was appointed new foreign policy chief. 

Muslim leaders from across the globe offered their condolences over the president’s death. 

Raisi was elected as Iran’s eighth president in the country's 13th presidential election in 2021. He will be laid to rest in his hometown of Mashhad.

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