Iranian President Raisi, Foreign Minister Confirmed Dead in Helicopter Crash

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi died after his chopper crashed in a mountainous terrain in northwest Iran.

Rescue teams discovered the accident site on Monday morning, after the president and his foreign minister had been missing for more than 12 hours.

“President Raisi, the foreign minister, and all of the passengers in the helicopter were killed in the crash,” a senior Iranian source told Reuters.

According to Iran’s Mehr news agency, “all passengers of the helicopter carrying the Iranian president and foreign minister were martyred”.

According to state television, photos from the disaster show the aircraft crashing into a mountain crest, but no official cause has been determined.

“President Raisi’s helicopter was completely destroyed in the crash…” Unfortunately, all passengers are believed to have died, according to a Reuters source.

IRNA, the state news agency, reported that the president was flying in an American-made Bell 212 helicopter.

Raisi, who was widely seen as a candidate to succeed Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as Iran’s Supreme Leader, was returning from a border visit with Azerbaijan when his chopper crashed.

Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amirabdollahian, the governor of East Azerbaijan province, and other officials were alleged to be on board the helicopter when it crashed on Sunday, initially characterized as a “hard landing” in fog.

The chief of staff of Iran’s army had ordered that all military and elite Revolutionary Guard resources be devoted to search and rescue operations, which had been impeded by adverse weather.

 

 

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