• Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Dies in Helicopter Crash

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian died in a helicopter crash in northwestern Iran, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) confirmed on Monday. The tragic incident also claimed the lives of several other officials onboard.The helicopter, carrying Iran’s East Azerbaijan Province Governor Malek Rahmati and Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, representative of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution to East Azerbaijan province, crashed into a mountain peak in East Azerbaijan province. State TV reported that images from the site showed the aircraft wreckage, though the exact cause of the crash remains unknown.The Iranian Red Crescent head, Pirhossein Kolivand, stated that search teams had located the crash site and confirmed that no signs of life were detected among the passengers.

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The rescue operation, hampered by blizzards and difficult terrain, continued through the night.IRNA reported that President Raisi was flying in a US-made Bell 212 helicopter. The 63-year-old Raisi, elected in 2021, was known for his stringent enforcement of morality laws, a crackdown on anti-government protests, and a tough stance in nuclear negotiations with world powers.Following the crash, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sought to reassure the nation, stating that there would be no disruption to state affairs. The national broadcaster interrupted regular programming to broadcast prayers being held for Raisi across the country.International reactions were swift, with several countries, including the UAE and Iraq, expressing concern and offering assistance.

The White House announced that President Joe Biden had been briefed on the incident, and China expressed deep concern. The European Union offered emergency satellite mapping technology to aid in the rescue efforts.President Raisi and his entourage were returning from a ceremony to inaugurate a dam on Iran’s border with the Azerbaijan Republic when the helicopter crashed upon landing in the Varzaqan region on Sunday.This devastating event marks a significant loss for Iran, with the nation mourning the death of its president and high-ranking officials.

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