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Iranian President Raisi Dies in Helicopter Crash

Iranian President, Raisi Dies in Helicopter Crash
Iranian President, Raisi Dies in Helicopter Crash

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was killed on Sunday when the helicopter carrying him and several top officials crashed in a mountainous region of East Azerbaijan province.

The crash was confirmed by state media early Monday after rescue workers located the wreckage.

State television announced Raisi’s death, describing him as having “achieved the highest level of martyrdom whilst serving the people.” Photos of the president accompanied by a Koranic recitation were broadcasted.

Rescue teams began searching the area after losing contact with the helicopter on Sunday afternoon. The helicopter, carrying Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and seven others, went missing in the Jolfa region. The Iranian Red Crescent located the wreckage early Monday but found no survivors.

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi stated that the helicopter made a hard landing due to bad weather conditions.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reassured the nation that the country’s leadership and operations would continue without disruption. Expressions of concern and offers of assistance poured in from countries including Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Russia, China, Turkey, and the European Union, which activated its rapid response mapping service to aid the search.

The crash has led to an emergency meeting of Iran’s cabinet, headed by Vice President Mohammad Mokhber. The search and rescue efforts involved the Army, Revolutionary Guard, police officers, and Red Crescent teams.

The Iranian President was on a visit to inaugurate a dam project along the border with Azerbaijan when the crash occurred. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev expressed his deep concern over the incident.

The tragic event comes amid high regional tensions following the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas, drawing international attention. The U.S. State Department and President Joe Biden have been briefed on the incident.

Raisi, who became president in 2021, has faced numerous challenges, including U.S. sanctions and domestic protests. His administration recently restored diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia and maintained strong support for the Palestinian cause. Hamas expressed solidarity with Iran following the news of Raisi’s death.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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