Iranian leader murdered in helicopter accident

(MENAFN) The Iranian government has issued a confirmation regarding the untimely demise of President Ebrahim Raisi, alongside several other esteemed officials, following a devastating helicopter crash in the northwestern region of the country.

Details of the incident emerged on Sunday, with initial reports indicating that President Raisi's Bell 212 helicopter, of United States make, had encountered adverse weather conditions, leading to what was described as a "crash landing" amidst dense fog in the mountainous vicinity near Jolfa, situated in the Iranian province of East Azerbaijan. The tragic event occurred as President Raisi was returning to Tehran from the border area after participating in the inauguration ceremony of a dam along the Aras River, an event attended by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Notably, two other helicopters in Raisi's convoy managed to navigate the challenging conditions and reach their intended destination safely.

Subsequent rescue efforts faced formidable challenges, including low visibility, rainfall, and the rugged terrain, which significantly impeded search operations. Approximately 40 rescue teams were mobilized in a concerted effort to locate the downed helicopter. Ultimately, the wreckage was located on Monday morning, aided by surveillance drones deployed by neighboring Turkey. Tragically, the Iranian Red Crescent Society reported that the aircraft had sustained extensive damage and had been engulfed in flames, with no indications of any survivors among the occupants.

Following the grim discovery, state-run Iranian media outlets swiftly disseminated reports confirming the fatalities of President Raisi, aged 63, and the other passengers aboard the ill-fated helicopter. This tragic loss was later officially acknowledged by the Iranian government in Tehran, prompting Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to declare a period of mourning lasting five days across the nation, in honor of the victims of the catastrophic crash.

Among those accompanying President Raisi on the helicopter were Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, East Azerbaijan Governor Malek Rahmati, East Azerbaijan Imam Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, and Mehdi Mousavi, the head of the presidential guard. The loss of these esteemed individuals has reverberated deeply within Iran and beyond, marking a profound tragedy for the nation's leadership and its people.



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