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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi killed in helicopter crash, state media reports



Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi killed in helicopter crash, state media reports

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, a hardliner lengthy seen as a possible successor to Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was killed in a helicopter crash in mountainous terrain close to the Azerbaijan border, officers and state media mentioned on Monday.

The charred wreckage of the helicopter which crashed on Sunday carrying Raisi and Overseas Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian was discovered early on Monday after an in a single day search in blizzard situations.

“President Raisi, the international minister and all of the passengers within the helicopter had been killed within the crash,” a senior Iranian official informed Reuters, asking to not be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Raisi’s demise was later confirmed in an announcement on social media by Vice President Mohsen Mansouri and on state tv. First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber is anticipated to take over as president.

State media reported that pictures from the positioning confirmed the U.S.-made Bell 212 helicopter slammed right into a mountain peak, though there was no official phrase on the reason for the crash. The useless additionally included the governor of East Azerbaijan Province and a senior imam from Tabriz metropolis.

This picture offered by Moj Information Company exhibits rescue groups close to the crash website of the helicopter carrying Raisi in northwestern Iran on Sunday. (Azin Haghighi/Moj Information Company/The Related Press)

Raisi, 63, was elected president in 2021, and since taking workplace has ordered a tightening of morality legal guidelines, overseen a bloody crackdown on anti-government protests and pushed onerous in nuclear talks with world powers.

Iranian Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds final energy with a closing say on international coverage and Iran’s nuclear program, had earlier sought to reassure Iranians, saying there can be no disruption to state affairs.

A Turkish drone recognized a supply of warmth suspected to be the helicopter’s wreckage early on Monday and had shared the coordinates of the doable crash website with Iranian authorities, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu information company posted on X.

Iranian state information company IRNA mentioned Raisi was flying in a U.S.-made Bell 212 helicopter.

The chief of workers of Iran’s military ordered all assets of the military and the elite Revolutionary Guards to be put to make use of in search and rescue operations.

Earlier, the nationwide broadcaster had stopped all common programming to indicate prayers being held for Raisi throughout the nation.

Within the early hours of Monday, it confirmed a rescue crew, sporting vibrant jackets and head torches, huddled round a GPS system as they searched a pitch-black mountainside on foot in a blizzard.

“We’re totally looking each inch of the overall space of the crash,” state media quoted a regional military commander as saying. “The realm has very chilly, wet, and foggy climate situations. The rain is regularly turning into snow.

A woman prays
An Iranian lady prays for Raisi in a ceremony at Vali-e-Asr sq. in downtown Tehran on Sunday. (Vahid Salemi/The Related Press)

A number of nations expressed concern and supplied help in any rescue.

The White Home mentioned U.S. President Joe Biden had been briefed on stories in regards to the crash. China mentioned it was deeply involved. The European Union supplied emergency satellite tv for pc mapping know-how.

Home and regional tensions

The crash comes at a time of rising dissent inside Iran over an array of crises — together with mass protests towards its Shia theocracy over girls’s rights and an ailing financial system. Iran’s clerical rulers face worldwide stress over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program and its deepening navy ties with Russia in the course of the conflict in Ukraine.

Since Iran’s ally Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7 and the following conflict towards the militant group in Gaza, conflagrations involving Iran-aligned teams have erupted all through the Center East.

Tensions between Iran and Israel reached unprecedented heights in mid-April after Iran launched greater than 300 drones and ballistic missiles at Israel. The assault, principally launched from inside Iran, precipitated solely modest injury in Israel as most had been shot down by Israel aerial defence programs and with assist from the U.S., Britain and Jordan — though a seven-year-old woman in a Bedouin Arab city was significantly wounded.

Tehran had vowed revenge since an April 1 airstrike in Syria killed two Iranian generals inside an Iranian consular constructing. Iran accused Israel of being behind the assault, however Israel hasn’t commented on it.

A helicopter is seen flying.
On this picture offered by Islamic Republic Information Company, a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi takes off on the Iranian border with Azerbaijan in Azeri, Iran, on Sunday. (Ali Hamed Haghdoust/IRNA/The Related Press)

In Iran’s twin political system, break up between the clerical institution and the federal government, it’s Raisi’s 85-year-old mentor Khamenei, supreme chief since 1989, who holds decision-making energy on all main insurance policies.

Widespread protests

For years many have seen Raisi as a powerful contender to succeed Khamenei, who has endorsed Raisi’s most important insurance policies. Raisi’s victory in a intently managed election in 2021 introduced all branches of energy beneath the management of hardliners, after eight years when the presidency had been held by pragmatist Hassan Rouhani and a nuclear deal negotiated with powers together with Washington.

Nevertheless, Raisi’s standing might have been dented by widespread protests towards clerical rule and a failure to show round Iran’s financial system, hamstrung by Western sanctions.

Raisi had been on the Azerbaijani border on Sunday to inaugurate the Qiz-Qalasi Dam, a joint challenge. Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, who mentioned he had bid a “pleasant farewell” to Raisi earlier within the day, supplied help within the rescue.

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