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Rescue Teams Are Searching The Helicopter with Iran’s President Raisi Crashes

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Iran's President Raisi

Iranian state media has announced that a helicopter transporting Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and several high ranking officials experienced a “hard landing” on Sunday. As of now, there is no immediate information available regarding any casualties resulting from the incident.

According to the state operated IRNA media outlet, a helicopter transporting President Raisi. Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, and other senior officials crashed in a mountainous area of northwestern Iran. The incident occurred as they were returning from an event near Iran’s border with Azerbaijan.

Two out of the three helicopters that were part of the trip reportedly arrived at their destination without any issues. However, according to state media, efforts are still ongoing to locate the helicopter that was carrying Iran’s President Raisi.

Iran’s Interior Minister, Ahmad Vahidi, has reportedly affirmed the occurrence of a “hard landing” involving the president’s helicopter. He stated that a search and rescue mission is currently underway, as reported by IRNA.

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Rescue Team is searching the Raisi Helicopter.
Rescue Team is searching the Raisi Helicopter.

Among the three helicopters involved in the journey, two have safely reached their destination. However, according to state media, efforts are ongoing to locate the helicopter carrying President Raisi.

Several rescue teams are heading towards the crash site. But the presence of fog and unfavorable weather conditions might delay their arrival. Vahidi mentioned that it could take some time to reach the area. Nevertheless, he assured that the situation managed.

Rescue Operation:

IRNA reported that a total of twenty rescue teams, equipped with drones and search dogs, had dispatched to the crash site. Additionally, the Iranian military had deployed troops to aid in the rescue operation.

Fars News Agency shared video footage purportedly showing the rescue teams en route to the location of the helicopter’s “hard landing.”

Earlier today, the Iranian government’s official social media account, known as the X account. Which shared a photo showing President Raisi seated alongside Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. The picture taken during the inauguration ceremony of a dam located along the border shared by both nations.

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The reported last picture of the helicopter before it crashed near Azerbaijani border.
The reported last picture of the helicopter before it crashed near Azerbaijani border.

A post on Raisi’s Instagram page urged his supporters to pray for his well being and that of his fellow passengers.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, conveyed his hopes in a post on the official X account, stating. “We pray that Almighty God will bring back the esteemed President and his companions to the embrace of the nation.” Khamenei reassured that the government would remain operational despite the ongoing circumstances.

Raisi is a relative hard liner:

Raisi, a former cleric and judge, assumed the presidency in 2021 after winning the election. Upon taking office, Raisi affirmed Iran’s commitment to the nuclear deal with the U.S. Despite the withdrawal of the United States from the agreement by former President Donald Trump in 2018.

Raisi, who succeeded former Iranian president Hassan Rouhani in 2021, often perceived as a more hard line figure. In recent events, his stance has contrasted with that of his predecessor.

In a recent incident, Raisi publicly applauded Iran’s retaliation against Israel following an airstrike in Damascus that claimed the lives of seven members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

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While Iran accused Israel of carrying out the bombing, Israel never officially claimed responsibility. Israel asserted that it successfully intercepted 99% of the missiles and drones launched by Iran during the retaliatory attack.

In Iran, the president holds the position of the head of government, but ultimate authority lies with the country’s supreme leader, currently Khamenei.

The supreme leader is responsible for setting national policies and overseeing their execution. Additionally, the supreme leader exercises control over significant institutions such as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the police force, as outlined by the Council on Foreign Relations.

According to Iran’s constitution, if the president passes away while in office, the first vice president assumes leadership, subject to approval by the supreme leader. Subsequently, a new election must be conducted within 50 days, as reported by Reuters.

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