Disappearance of the Iranian president: helicopter accident, “unfavorable weather conditions”, difficult searches… Ebrahim Raïssi remains untraceable

Disappearance of the Iranian president: helicopter accident, “unfavorable weather conditions”, difficult searches… Ebrahim Raïssi remains untraceable
Disappearance of the Iranian president: helicopter accident, “unfavorable weather conditions”, difficult searches… Ebrahim Raïssi remains untraceable

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The search for the helicopter carrying the Iranian president was made very difficult by “unfavorable weather conditions”, including fog.

Intense searches were underway on Sunday May 19 in northwest Iran to find the helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raïssi, who was the victim of an “accident”, officials and official media announced. “An accident occurred with the helicopter carrying the president” in the Jofa region, in the western province of East Azerbaijan, state television said. The search was made very difficult by “unfavorable weather conditions”, including fog, Interior Minister Ahmed Vahidi said on state television.

“More than 20 rescue teams sent to the site”

“It may take time to reach the area,” he added, although the location is believed to 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 Raisi was.

A receipt operation is underway after a helicopter carrying Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi was involved in what state media has called a ‘hard landing’.

Rescuers are attempting to reach the scene but are reportedly being hampered by fog and rain.

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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 rescue teams equipped with full equipment, including drones and rescue dogs”, had “been sent to the site”.

With the President of Azerbaijan

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. 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,” he said .

President for almost three years

Raïssi, a 63-year-old ayatollah, has been president of the Islamic Republic for almost three years. 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.

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