Iran President Raisi Dies In Helicopter Crash Early Monday, relief workers located the missing helicopter, with state TV saying the president had died.

This grab taken from handout video footage released by the IRINN Iranian state television network on May 19, 2024 shows Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi (L) with an unidentified member of his delegation on board a helicopter in the Jolfa region of the western province of East Azerbaijan. – A helicopter in the convoy of the Iranian president was involved in “an accident” in East Azerbaijan province on May 19, state televsion reported, without specifying if the president was on board. (Photo by IRINN / AFP)

Iranian state media said President Ebrahim Raisi died on Monday after his helicopter crashed in a mountainous region of the country.

Rescue teams had been scouring the area since Sunday afternoon after a helicopter carrying Raisi, the foreign minister and other officials had gone missing.

Early Monday, relief workers located the missing helicopter, with state TV saying the president had died.

“The servant of Iranian nation, Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi has achieved the highest level of martyrdom whilst serving the people,” state television said Monday, with Mehr news agency also saying he was dead.

State television broadcast photos of Raisi, with the voice of a man reciting the Koran playing in the background.

Iran’s vice president for executive affairs Mohsen Mansouri posted on X a Koranic verse used to express condolences.

Fears had been growing for the 63-year-old ultraconservative after contact was lost with the helicopter carrying him as well as Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and others in East Azerbaijan province on Sunday.

A total of nine people were on board the aircraft, according to Tasnim news agency.

Iran’s Red Crescent chief Pirhossein Koolivand said rescue teams headed towards the site of the crash after locating the aircraft.

“The helicopter has been found. Now, we are moving toward the helicopter,” said Koolivand. “We are seeing the helicopter. The situation is not good.”

“Upon finding the helicopter, there was no sign of the helicopter passengers being alive as of yet,” state TV reported about 15 hours after the aircraft went missing.

Iranian media including Fars news agency shared drone images of what appeared to be the wreckage of the helicopter.

State TV first reported Sunday afternoon that “an accident happened to the helicopter carrying the president” in the Jolfa region of East Azerbaijan province.

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said the helicopter “made a hard landing” in bad weather.

He urged people to get their information “only from state television”, and not listen to foreign media channels Iran deems hostile to the Islamic republic.

Raisi’s convoy had included three helicopters, and the other two had “reached their destination safely”, said the Tasnim news agency.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged Iranians to “not worry” about the leadership of the Islamic republic, saying “there will be no disruption in the country’s work”.

Expressions of concern and offers of help came from abroad, including Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Russia, China and Turkey, as well as from the European Union which activated its rapid response mapping service to aid in the search effort.

Massive search effort
Iran’s cabinet held an emergency meeting led by Vice President Mohammad Mokhber after the incident, the IRNA news agency reported.

Army, Revolutionary Guard and police officers were involved in the search, authorities said, as TV stations showed pictures of Red Crescent teams walking up a hill in the mist, while rows of emergency response vehicles waited.

Raisi had visited the northwestern province to inaugurate a dam project together with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, on their common border.

Aliyev said in a post on X that “we were profoundly troubled by the news of a helicopter carrying the top delegation crash-landing in Iran”.

Foreign countries were closely following the search at a time of high regional tensions over the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas since October 7 that has drawn in other armed groups in the Middle East.

A US State Department spokesman said: “We are closely following reports of a possible hard landing of a helicopter in Iran carrying the Iranian president and foreign minister”, adding that “we have no further comment at this time”.

US President Joe Biden has been briefed on the crash, an American official said on condition of anonymity.

‘Servant of the people’
Raisi has been president since 2021 when he succeeded the moderate Hassan Rouhani, at a time when the economy was battered by US sanctions over Iran’s contest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Foreign News

‘I hid my illness for 17 years before making it public’ – Celine Dion

Canadian singer Celine Dion has shared that she hid her struggle with Stiff Person Syndrome for 17 years before revealing it to the public. In an interview with Hoda Kotb on the Today Show this week, Dion revealed that she was secretly battling the illness while managing her late husband, Rene Angelil’s cancer battle and […]

Read More
Foreign News

No survivors as wreck of missing plane carrying Malawi Vice President and 9 others is found – President.

Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera said Tuesday, June 11, that there had been no survivors when a plane carrying the Vice President and nine others crashed into a forest. “The plane has been found and I am deeply saddened and sorry to inform you all, it has turned out to be a terrible tragedy,” he said, […]

Read More
Foreign News

HRM King Charles III hosts Cuppy Otedola at Buckingham Palace

His Majesty King Charles III shares a joke with Cuppy. He hosts a star-studded King’s Trust International reception at Buckingham Palace. Cuppy Otedola, an Ambassador of The King’s Trust International, meets with His Majesty King Charles III, at Buckingham Palace. Cuppy is amongst a few to be invited to join the 2024 Prince’s Trust Award […]

Read More