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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is killed in helicopter crash

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is killed in helicopter crash

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is killed in helicopter crash

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi New York^ US - 16 Apr 2024

Iranian state media reported that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was killed after a helicopter carrying him suffered a crash landing on Sunday as it traveled through rainy and foggy conditions in the rural mountainous area near ​​Kalibar and Warzghan in northern Iran, near the borders with Azerbaijan and Armenia. The officials were returning from the border with the country of Azerbaijan — in the northwest of Iran, some 375 miles from the capital of Tehran — where Raisi was inaugurating a dam on the Aras river with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.  Raisi’s administration began an emergency meeting on Monday following the news of his death.

Iranian media reported that the 63-year-old Raisi was traveling with Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, East Azerbaijan’s governor, Malik Rahmati, and Raisi’s security detail when their helicopter made a “hard landing.”  All seven onboard were killed in the crash.

On Sunday afternoon, Iran’s Vice President Mohsen Mansouri reported that two people from the helicopter flight had made contact with the rescue team, with the commander of the East Azerbaijan Army saying that a signal from the helicopter and a cellphone belonging to one of the crew members at the accident site was received.

Red Crescent Relief and Rescue Organization crews were sent to the scene to locate the helicopter; they confirmed earlier Monday it had located the missing helicopter carrying Raisi, with the head of Iran’s Red Crescent, Hossein Kolivand, telling state media there was “no sign of life.”

Raisi was the elected president and led the government, however, he still answered to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is the head of state. Khamenei had said that there would be no disruption to state affairs. Under Iranian law, First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber will assume power after getting the nod from Khamenei. A presidential election must then be called within 50 days.

Editorial credit: photosince / Shutterstock.com

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