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Iran President Ebrahim Raisi dies in helicopter crash

20 May, 2024 10:11

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian died when their helicopter crashed in mountain terrain in heavy fog, Iranian media confirmed Monday.

The pair were confirmed dead after the chopper crashed as it was crossing mountain terrain in heavy fog in the province of East Azerbaijan, Press TV reported.

The development was also confirmed by other Iranian media including the Mehr and Tasnim news agencies as well as the Reuters news agency.

Immediate cause of the crash was not given at the moment.

This picture was taken moments before the cash

The president was returning from a trip to neighbouring Azerbaijan to inaugurate a dam.

Ebrahim Raisi martyred: What happens next?

The governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province and the representative of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution to East Azarbaijan province as well as bodyguards were also on board, the state-run Irna news agency reported.

A frame grab from video released by the Iranian Red Crescent on Monday shows the wreckage of the helicopter that was carrying President Ebrahim Raisi in East Azerbaijan province. Photo: Iranian Red Crescent

The helicopter reportedly lost contact approximately 30 minutes into the flight. This sparked immediate concerns and a massive search and rescue operation.

The helicopter crash comes at a time when Iran’s relations with Israel reach a new pitch of danger.

Last month the two countries exchanged fire, sparked by an Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

PM, president condoles Raisi’s death

It is worth mentioning here that the 63-year-old, a figure representing conservative and hardline factions in Iranian politics, was president for nearly three years, and appeared on track to run for re-election next year.

The officials who died in the crash include:

Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian

East Azerbaijan Governor Malek Rahmati

Representative of the Iranian supreme leader in East Azerbaijan Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem

Head of presidential guard Mehdi Mousavi

The helicopter’s pilot, co-pilot and crew

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