Iran. “Accident” of a presidential helicopter, the fate of President Raïssi “uncertain”

Iran. “Accident” of a presidential helicopter, the fate of President Raïssi “uncertain”
Iran. “Accident” of a presidential helicopter, the fate of President Raïssi “uncertain”

An Iranian presidential helicopter was involved in an “accident” in the northwest of the country on Sunday, and uncertainty remained over the fate of President Ebrahim Raïssi, who would be one of the passengers on board, announced official media. The Iranian Interior Minister reported a “hard landing” of the aircraft.

Bad weather conditions

“Some unconfirmed reports indicate that the helicopter carrying President Raisi may have had an accident in the province of East Azerbaijan,” state television said, adding that operations were “underway” to locate him while the weather conditions were bad.

The official Irna news agency then reported that Mr. Raïssi, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, were among the passengers of the plane.

Searches were underway on Sunday afternoon in northwest Iran to find the aircraft, made difficult by “unfavorable weather conditions”, including fog, Interior Minister Ahmed Vahidi told the state television. The minister did not confirm whether President Raïssi was indeed on board the aircraft, which was part of a convoy of three helicopters carrying the presidential delegation.

“It may take time to reach the helicopter area,” he added, although this location would be located in the Dizmar forest, near the town of Varzaghan.

Mr. Raisi visited the province of Eastern Azerbaijan on Sunday, where he notably inaugurated a dam in the company of the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliev, on the border between the two countries.

State television said thick fog was making searches difficult in the mountainous region.
Mr. Raïssi, a 63-year-old ayatollah, has been president of the Islamic Republic since June 2021.

After a visit to Azerbaijan

Mr. Raisi visited the province of Eastern Azerbaijan on Sunday, where he notably inaugurated a dam in the company of the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliev, on the border between the two countries.

Ebrahim Raïssi, a 63-year-old ayatollah, has been president of the Islamic Republic since June 2021.

According to the Iranian Fars agency, the president was forced to land due to the fog, but no one was injured, and the convoy “returned by land to Tabriz”.

The helicopter belonged to a convoy of three aircraft, two of which were transporting ministers and state officials, which arrived safely at their destination.

More information to follow…

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