Iran’s President Raisi crashed helicopter located: IRNA

Iran’s President Raisi crashed helicopter located: IRNA

Iran’s President Raisi crashed helicopter located: IRNA

Helicopter carrying Iran’s President Raisi crashes upon landing: IRNA

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The helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister, which crashed on Sunday while navigating mountainous terrain in heavy fog, has been located, according to the latest reports from the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

An Iranian official informed an international news agency that rescuers were struggling to reach the crash site after receiving reports of the helicopter’s unfortunate incident earlier this evening. The official mentioned that the lives of Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian were “at risk following the helicopter crash,” which occurred on their return from a visit to the Azerbaijan border in northwest Iran.

“We are still hopeful, but the information coming from the crash site is very concerning,” the official told the news agency, speaking anonymously. State TV later reported that the helicopter had been found and quoted an official saying that at least one passenger and one crew member had been in contact with rescuers.

The difficult weather conditions and heavy fog are hampering rescue teams’ efforts to reach the crash site.

The convoy included three helicopters, and while the other two landed safely, the helicopter carrying President Raisi crashed. Among those onboard were Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and Governor of East Azerbaijan province Malek Rahmati.

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The incident occurred as Raisi was returning from East Azerbaijan province, where he had inaugurated a dam project along with his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliev, near the border between the two countries.

Pir Hossein Kolivand, head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS), told Iran’s Tasnim news agency that 40 rapid response teams are conducting search operations in the area.

Kolivand noted that the challenging weather and rugged terrain are complicating the rescue efforts. Despite using drones and other aerial measures, poor weather has made aerial searches infeasible, leading to additional forces being dispatched from various provinces to ensure sufficient personnel are on-site.

Separately, an Iranian official informed an international news agency that the helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi and others crashed while traversing mountainous terrain. The official noted that the individuals’ lives were “at risk following the helicopter crash.”

“We are still hopeful, but the information coming from the crash site is very concerning,” the official said, speaking anonymously. The state news agency IRNA reported that the bad weather was complicating rescue efforts.

Later, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi stated that one of the helicopters “made a hard landing due to bad weather conditions” and added that establishing communication with the aircraft was difficult.

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State TV interrupted its regular programming to broadcast prayers for Raisi across the country and provided live coverage of rescue teams searching the mountainous area on foot in heavy fog.

President Raisi had been in Azerbaijan earlier on Sunday to inaugurate a dam with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. The dam is the third one constructed by the two nations on the Aras River.

Iran operates a variety of helicopters, but international sanctions make it difficult to obtain parts. Its military air fleet largely dates back to before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Born in 1960 in northeast Iran’s holy city of Mashhad, Ebrahim Raisi quickly rose to high office. At just 20 years old, following the 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the US-backed monarchy, he was appointed prosecutor-general of Karaj near Tehran. He served as Tehran’s prosecutor-general from 1989 to 1994, deputy chief of the Judicial Authority for a decade starting in 2004, and then national prosecutor-general in 2014.

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