News Brief

Iranian President Raisi Reported Dead Post-Chopper Crash Near Azerbaijan-Iranian Border: Here's All That We Know So Far

Swarajya Staff

May 20, 2024, 10:25 AM | Updated 01:17 PM IST

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. (X)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. (X)

Iran's Vice President Mohsen Mansouri confirmed President Ebrahim Raisi's death after rescuers discovered the wreckage of a helicopter carrying him and other officials on Monday (20 May) morning near the Azerbaijan-Iranian border.

The vice president stated, “To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return…”.

According to the same report, there were "no signs of life" at the crash site.

The helicopter, which crashed on Sunday while traversing mountainous terrain in heavy fog, was returning from a visit to the border with Azerbaijan in Iran’s northwest.

Earlier officials had stated that Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian’s lives were "at risk following the helicopter crash".

"President Raisi's helicopter was completely burned in the crash... unfortunately, all passengers are feared dead," an official informed Reuters.

Pirhossein Kolivand, head of Iran's Red Crescent, told state TV, "With the discovery of the crash site, no signs of life have been detected among the helicopter's passengers."

Officials have attribute the crash to bad weather, which is also hampering rescue operations.

The Iranian army & the elite Revolutionary Guards had deployed all available resources for search and rescue efforts.

Several global leaders had expressed concern for Raisi's well-being. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated, "Deeply concerned by reports regarding President Raisi’s helicopter flight today. We stand in solidarity with the Iranian people in this hour of distress and pray for the well-being of the President and his entourage."

This incident occurs amid significant challenges for Iran, including political and economic dissent, international pressure over its ally Hamas' attack on Israel in October 2023, and its growing military ties with Russia during the ongoing war in Ukraine.

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