France – World – A hard landing, difficult searches… What we know about the President of Iran’s helicopter accident

France – World – A hard landing, difficult searches… What we know about the President of Iran’s helicopter accident
France – World – A hard landing, difficult searches… What we know about the President of Iran’s helicopter accident

Uncertainty hangs over the fate of Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi, victim of a helicopter accident this Sunday in the province of Eastern Azerbaijan (northwest of Iran). Here is what we know at this stage about this accident:

What happened?

“An accident occurred with the helicopter carrying the president” in the Jolfa region, in the heart of a sparsely populated mountainous area, state television said. The Minister of the Interior, Ahmed Vahidi, spoke to state television about a “hard landing” of the device, without giving additional details.

The aircraft was part of a convoy of three helicopters transporting the presidential delegation. Two of them landed safely in Tabriz, the large city in the northwest, but not the one in which Ebrahim Raïssi, 63, was. The accident site is believed to be located in the Dizmar forest, near the town of Varzaghan. Shortly before, the Iranian president inaugurated a dam in the province of Eastern Azerbaijan, accompanied by his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliev, on the border between the two countries.

Who was on board?

The official Irna news agency indicated that in addition to the president, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the governor of the province as well as the main imam of the region were among the passengers of the plane.

Where is the research?

Intense searches were underway late Sunday afternoon in northwest Iran. “More than 20 rescue teams with full equipment, including drones and rescue dogs”have “were sent there”, according to the Irna agency. But research is made very difficult by “unfavorable weather conditions”indicated the Minister of the Interior.

“It may take time to reach the area”, he added. State television broadcast images of several members of the Iranian Red Crescent walking in thick fog.

What scenario in the event of Ebrahim Raïssi’s death?

The vice-president, Mohammad Mokhber, left Tehran late in the afternoon to reach Tabriz in the company of several ministers, according to the government spokesperson. It is he who would take over as president in the event of the death of Ebrahim Raïssi, pending the holding of a presidential election within 50 days. Developments in the situation are being closely monitored internationally.

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