Iran’s Raisi, FM Found Dead at Helicopter Crash Site

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Iran’s President Raisi was accompanied by Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian, the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province and other officials and bodyguards.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s foreign minister and others have been found dead at the site of a helicopter crash after an hourslong search through a foggy, mountainous region of the country’s northwest, state media reported.

Raisi was 63.

State TV gave no immediate cause for the crash in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province.

Iranian Deputy President for Executive Affairs Mohsen Mansouri has also confirmed the death of the Iranian president.

The incident comes as Iran under Raisi and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei launched an unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel last month and has enriched uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels.

Iranian President Raisi was accompanied by Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian, the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province and other officials and bodyguards, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.

One local government official used the word “crash,” but others referred to either a “hard landing” or an “incident.”

Early Monday morning, Turkish authorities released what they described as drone footage showing what appeared to be a fire in the wilderness that they “suspected to be the wreckage of a helicopter.”

The coordinates listed in the footage put the fire some 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of the Azerbaijan-Iranian border on the side of a steep mountain.

Footage released by the IRNA early Monday showed what the agency described as the crash site, across a steep valley in a green mountain range.

Soldiers speaking in the local Turkic language said: “There it is, we found it.”

Shortly after, state TV in an on-screen scrolling text said: “There is no sign of life from people on board.”

It did not elaborate, but the semiofficial Tasnim news agency showed rescuers using a small drone to fly over the site, with them speaking among themselves saying the same thing. The footage showed the tail of the helicopter and the brunt of debris all around it.

State television’s main channel aired the prayers nonstop.

Courtesy: TRT World

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