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Iran President Raisi killed in helicopter crash: state media

Iran President Raisi killed in helicopter crash: state media

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian were confirmed dead following a helicopter crash on Sunday in the country's mountainous northwest, according to state-run media. The helicopter carrying the two crashed in a densely forested area in the country's East Azerbaijan Province and "all the passengers of the crashed helicopter were martyred," Iran's Mehr News Agency said Monday. Weather conditions had been rough, with heavy rain and fog at the site. Following the accident, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reassured the public in a speech Sunday that "there will be no disruption in the country's work," according to a state TV. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (C) attends an inauguration ceremony of a dam on the borders between Iran and Azerbaijan in Jabrayil district of Azerbaijan on May 19, 2024. (Photo by Iranian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty/Kyodo) Raisi, 63, who had been president since 2021, was seen as a likely successor to Khamenei. The crash occurred as Raisi was returning from a trip to Iran's border with Azerbaijan on Sunday to take part in a ceremony to inaugurate a dam with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev. Raisi's helicopter departed around 1 p.m. on Sunday for Tabriz in the country's northwest but contact was reportedly lost 30 minutes later. Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said the helicopter experienced a "hard landing" due to foggy weather. Earlier Monday, a Turkish drone assisting Iran in the search had identified a "source of heat suspected to be wreckage" from the chopper and shared the coordinates with Iranian authorities, according to Turkey's Anadolu Agency. Screen grab captured from a video from a Turkish Akinci unmanned aerial vehicle that identified during search and rescue operations a source of heat suspected to be the wreckage of a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his delegation. (Photo by AA Video/Anadolu Agency/Getty/Kyodo) Related coverage: 3 killed in accident involving 7 vehicles on expressway near Tokyo Search continues for 7 crew after 2 SDF choppers crash in Pacific 2 Japan SDF choppers crash during drill leaving 1 dead, 7 missing

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