Iran’s President Ibrahim Raisi has confirmed his death in a helicopter crash Political News

The helicopter carrying Foreign Minister Hossein Amiraptullahian went down due to bad weather.

Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi has been confirmed dead after his helicopter crashed in bad weather.

The bodies of Raisi and the foreign minister and others on board were found on Monday morning, hours after the helicopter crashed in Iran’s wild northwest, state media reported. As Iran sits amid regional and global tensions centered on the war in Gaza, the crash challenges the country’s senior leadership.

Rescuers from the Iranian Red Cross battled through thick fog, blizzards and mountainous terrain to reach the crash site in East Azerbaijan province. When they found the wreckage, they said, „there was no sign of life.”

State television did not give an immediate cause of the crash, which also killed Foreign Minister Hossein Amiraptolahian, the governor of East Azerbaijan province, and other officials and bodyguards, state-run IRNA news agency reported.

„President Raisi’s helicopter was completely gutted in the crash…unfortunately, all passengers are feared dead,” Reuters news agency quoted an Iranian official as saying on condition of anonymity.

Raisi, 63, was elected president in his second attempt in 2021 and since taking office has overseen a tightening of morality laws and a bloody crackdown on anti-government protests sparked by the death in custody of 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini. It took a tough approach to nuclear negotiations with world powers.

State media showed a video from the Red Crescent of the helicopter crash site [Handout/Iranian Red Crescent via AFP]

Last month, he ordered an unprecedented drone and missile strike against Israel following an alleged Israeli attack on Iran’s embassy in Damascus.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds ultimate power in Iran, earlier sought to reassure Iranians, some of whom prayed for Raisi’s well-being, that there would be no disruption to state affairs.

READ  China's GDI is more than just a reduced BRI

Raisi, a hardliner who previously led the country’s judiciary, is seen as a protégé of the 85-year-old Khamenei.

’found’

Raisi was on his way home to Tehran when state television said his helicopter made a „hard landing” near the town of Jolba on the border with Azerbaijan, about 600 km (375 miles) northwest of the Iranian capital. Later, state media reported the crash site to the east near the village of Uzi, but the details were inconsistent.

Earlier on Monday, Turkish officials released what they described as drone footage showing what appeared to be a fire in the desert. [the] Deformations [a] helicopter”. The fire broke out on a steep hillside 20 km (12 mi) south of the Azerbaijan-Iran border.

Interactive Iran President Raisi Amirabtolahian dies in helicopter crash-1716183879

Footage released by IRNA shows what the agency described as the crash site, in a steep valley in a green mountain range. The soldiers, speaking in the local Azeri language, said: „There it is, we found it.”

Moments later, state television said in scrolling text on the screen: „There was no sign of life from those on board.”

It was not elaborated, but the Tasnim news agency showed rescuers flying over the site using a small drone. They were heard talking among themselves and coming to the same conclusion. The footage shows the tail of the helicopter surrounded by burnt debris.

’will not rest’

Under Iran’s constitution, in the event of a president’s death, the vice president takes over on a temporary basis. A new presidential election must be held within 50 days.

Ali Khamenei confirmed first vice president Mohammad Moghar, who announced five days of mourning before noon on Monday. As interim head of the country’s executive branch. He will oversee the organization of the upcoming elections in July.

READ  Covid emergency ends in President's hands: Minister

Mogbar is seen as close to the Supreme Leader. Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri, Tehran’s top nuclear negotiator, has been appointed interim foreign minister.

A cabinet statement on Monday announced that the Iranian government would continue to function „without the slightest disruption”.

„We assure the faithful nation that the path of service will continue with the tireless spirit of Ayatollah Raisi,” it added.

With Iran in the midst of high tensions in the Middle East, the need for a change in leadership is pressing.

Israel’s war in Gaza has fueled low-level conflicts with Iran-backed groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen. Last month, Iran and Israel exchanged blows.

Iran has also been accused of supplying drones to Russia for use in its aggression against Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the United States and Western partners have grown more wary than ever about Iran’s nuclear program, with the UN urging Tehran to improve its cooperation on inspections.

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres e-mail nie zostanie opublikowany. Wymagane pola są oznaczone *