Iran. A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi has crashed

The helicopter belonging to the President of Iran, Ibrahim Raisi, has crashed in the northwestern part of the country. State TV reported that the accident was caused by bad weather. Iran’s diplomatic chief was also on board. Rescue teams are trying to reach the spot, but thick fog is making it difficult. “We are still hopeful, but the news from the crash site is very worrying,” an Iranian official said on condition of anonymity.

> A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi crashed on Sunday afternoon. According to local media, Raisi was on his way to the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz after returning from neighboring Azerbaijan.

> Local media reported that one of the three passengers in the convoy was helicoptered and the other two arrived safely. The search operation is underway, but is hampered by thick fog. Iranian state television blamed bad weather for the disaster

> Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amiraptolahian and other officials were on board the president’s helicopter.

Initially, on Sunday afternoon, Iranian media reported that the helicopter carrying President Ibrahim Raisi had made a “hard landing”. According to local news agencies, he was part of a convoy of three helicopters and the incident occurred when Raisi was returning from a visit to neighboring Azerbaijan. The remaining two helicopters, carrying ministers and officials, reportedly reached their destination safely.

State TV reported that the accident was caused by bad weather. It added that there are no confirmed reports of casualties or injuries so far.

Interior Minister Ahmed Vahidi told state television that one of the three helicopters crashed and authorities were awaiting further details.

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The president’s helicopter was carrying Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amiraptolahian and other officials.

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News ‘deeply disturbing’

“We still have hope, but the news from the crash site is very worrying,” an Iranian official said on condition of anonymity.

Heavy fog has delayed the search for the helicopterReuters

Iranian media reported that the search for the helicopter was ongoing and that the operation was hampered by weather conditions, including dense fog. A reporter from Iran’s Fars news agency said visibility was reduced to about five meters in mountainous and forested areas. The area is located about 50 kilometers north of the city of Tabriz in the north-west of the country.

According to Iranian media, services are expected to reach the crash site in the evening.

State television interrupted all its programs to show prayers for Raisi across the country.

Ibrahim RaisiABEDIN TAHERKENAREH/EPA/PAP

The US State Department said it was closely monitoring reports of Rice’s helicopter crash. It also said President Joe Biden was being kept updated on the situation.

Main photo source: ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH/EPA/PAP

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