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Iranian president killed in helicopter crash

  • May 20, 2024
  • 2 min read
Iranian president killed in helicopter crash

Iranian “hardliner” and potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Ebrahim Raisi has been killed in a helicopter crash in a mountainous terrain near the border with Azerbaijan, Iranian officials and state media reported. The charred wreckage of the helicopter which crashed on Sunday carrying the president, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and six others was found early on Monday morning following an overnight search through a blizzard.

“President Raisi, the foreign minister and all the passengers in the helicopter were killed in the crash,” a senior official who asked to remain anonymous told Reuters.

Raisi’s death was later confirmed in a statement on social media by Vice President Mohsen Mansouri and on state TV. First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber is expected to become the new president.

Iranian state media reported that images from the crash showed the American-built Bell 212 helicopter colliding with a mountain peak, though there has yet to be, at the time of writing, any official word on the cause of the crash. The passengers included the governor of an East Azerbaijan Province and a senior imam from Tabriz city.

The helicopter fell in the Varzeqan region, north of Tabriz, as the president returned from an official visit to the border with Azerbaijan in the north-west of Iran.

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