President Ebrahim Raïssi nowhere to be found after an “accident” of his helicopter

President Ebrahim Raïssi nowhere to be found after an “accident” of his helicopter
President Ebrahim Raïssi nowhere to be found after an “accident” of his helicopter

“There are unconfirmed reports that the helicopter carrying President Raisi had an accident in East Azerbaijan province”state television said on Sunday, May 19, adding that operations were ” in progress “ to locate him while the weather conditions were bad.

The official Irna news agency said Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian was also among the plane’s passengers, along with the provincial governor and the region’s main imam.

The Irna agency added that “more than 20 fully equipped rescue teams including drones and rescue dogs”had “were sent there”.

Difficult searches

The research was made very difficult by the “unfavorable weather conditions”including fog, Interior Minister Ahmed Vahidi said on state television.

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

The minister did not confirm whether President Raïssi was on board the aircraft, which was part of a convoy of three helicopters carrying the presidential delegation. Two of them landed safely in Tabriz, the large city in the northwest, but not the one in which Ebrahim Raïssi was.

Ebrahim Raïssi 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.

Considered an ultraconservative

During a joint press conference, he once again gave his support to the Palestinians in the war in the Gaza Strip between Hamas and Israel. “We believe that Palestine is the first issue of the Muslim world, and we are convinced that the people of Iran and Azerbaijan always support the people of Palestine and Gaza and hate the Zionist regime”did he declare.

Ebrahim Raïssi, a 63-year-old Ayatollah, has been President of the Islamic Republic since June 2021. Considered an ultraconservative, he was elected on June 18, 2021 in the first round of a vote marked by a record abstention for a presidential election and the absence of strong competitors.

Always wearing his black turban and wearing a long religious cloak, he succeeded the moderate Hassan Rouhani, who beat him in the 2017 presidential election and could no longer run again after two consecutive terms.

On the American blacklist

Ebrahim Raïssi emerged strengthened at the end of the legislative elections held in March, the first national vote since the protest movement which shook Iran at the end of 2022 following the death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman arrested for non-compliance. compliance with the strict dress code of the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian president then welcomed“a new historic failure inflicted on Iran’s enemies after the riots” of 2022.

Ebrahim Raïssi is on the American blacklist of Iranian officials sanctioned by Washington for “complicity in serious human rights violations”accusations dismissed as null and void by the authorities in Tehran.

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