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A Helicopter Transporting The President Of Iran Crashes In The Mountains.

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The helicopter carrying Raisi takes off near the Iran-Azerbaijan border. Photograph: Ali Hamed/IRNA News Agency Handout/EPA

(CTN News) – State media asked for nationwide prayers as search and rescue Helicopter crews rushed to a fog-covered mountainside where a helicopter carrying Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister crashed.

State TV claimed the chopper was recovered after nightfall on Sunday, and an official said at least one passenger and crew member begged for help.

Iranian Red Crescent rescuers reported no chopper, but info was scarce.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reassured the nation by not revealing the president’s health.

He assured Iranians “No disruption will occur in Iran’s state affairs.”

An Iranian official told Reuters that Raisi and foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian were “at risk following the helicopter crash”. “We are hopeful, but crash site information is very concerning.”

Iranian official television reported that rescue efforts were hampered by rain and darkness. Rescuers arrived, but rain has caused muck, making the search harder, a local reporter stated.

The event took place in Jolfa, 375 miles (600km) northwest of Tehran near the Azerbaijan border. The president visited East Azerbaijan in Iran.

IRNA showed an Iranian Red Crescent team climbing a fog-covered mountainside and throngs praying at Raisi’s hometown Imam Reza’s shrine.

IRNA labeled it a “forest” and state TV showed SUVs driving through it.

Rescue helicopters couldn’t land where Raisi’s chopper crashed because to heavy mist, emergency services spokesperson Babak Yektaparast said IRNA.

According to state media, the Iranian army chief of staff summoned all army and Revolutionary Guard members and more than 40 rescue teams with search dogs and drones to the location.

IRNA reports that state-run Raisi and Amir-Abdollahian accompanied the East Azerbaijan governor and others. A local government official called the incident a “crash” but told an Iranian outlet he had not arrived.

The esteemed president and company were returning on helicopters when one had to make a hard landing due to bad weather and fog, Iran’s interior minister, Ahmad Vahidi, informed state TV. Rescue teams may be delayed by fog and weather reaching the aircraft.

The terrain is inaccessible. We await rescue teams at the landing site for updates.”

Raisi and President Ilham Aliyev launched a dam in Azerbaijan early Sunday. The third Aras River dam was built by both nations. The visit occurred despite fears about Azerbaijan’s 2023 Tehran embassy shooting and its diplomatic links with Israel, Iran’s Shia theocracy’s key regional rival.

Iran possesses many helicopters,

International restrictions limit parts. Many military jets predate the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Crashing followed a “hard landing”.

Iraq, Qatar, and rival Saudi Arabia wished you well. According to state news agency, the Saudi foreign ministry was monitoring the disaster with “great concern”.

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, expressed sadness over the accident. “I wish our neighbor, friend, and brother Iranian people and government the best, and I hope to hear from Mr Raisi and his delegation soon,” Erdogan wrote.

The EU handed Iran emergency satellite mapping technology, and a US state department spokesman said, “We are closely following reports of a possible hard landing of a helicopter in Iran carrying the Iranian president and foreign minister.”

The judiciary’s hardline leader was Raisi, 63. He may succeed Iran’s leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, due to their closeness.

He had Iran’s lowest 2021 presidential election turnout. Raisi faces US sanctions for the 1988 mass execution of thousands of political detainees at the end of the Iran-Iraq war.

Raisi allows Tehran to enrich weapons-grade uranium and block Western scrutiny. Iran armed Russia in Ukraine and attacked Israel with drones and missiles. Houthi rebels in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon are its Middle Eastern proxy forces.

Iran’s constitution would make vice-president Mohammad Mokhber president if Raisi died. Constitution requires 50-day presidential elections.

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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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