Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Dies In Chopper Crash. Body Retrieved

Iran President Ebrahim Raisi has died in a helicopter crash, Iranian state media confirmed. "No survivors" were found at the crash site of the chopper that was carrying Raisi.

May 20, 2024 - 15:11
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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Dies In Chopper Crash. Body Retrieved

Iran President Ebrahim Raisi has died in a helicopter crash, Iranian state media confirmed. "No survivors" were found at the crash site of the chopper that was carrying Raisi, his Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollhian and other senior officials.

After hours of searching through mountainous terrain amid inclement weather, rescue teams located the crashed helicopter. "President Raisi's helicopter was completely burned in the crash," an official told news agency Reuters.

Under the Iranian constitution, the death of a sitting president triggers specific protocols. First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, 69, will assume the presidency in an interim capacity. 

Footage released by the state-run IRNA early on Monday showed the purported crash site of President Ebrahim Raisi's helicopter, across a steep valley in a green mountain range. Soldiers speaking in the local language said, "There it is, we found it." Shortly after, state TV reported, "There is no sign of life from people on board."

A total of nine people were aboard the helicopter, including Raisi, Abdollahian, three Iranian officials, an imam and flight and security team members, CNN reported, citing Iranian media. One of the three officials was the Governor of Eastern Azerbaijan province Malek Rahmati.

In a statement, the Iranian government said that it would continue to operate "without the slightest disruption", at a time of heightened tensions in the Middle East.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday expressed his condolences with a post on social media. "Deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic demise of Dr. Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. His contribution to strengthening India-Iran bilateral relationship will always be remembered. My heartfelt condolences to his family and the people of Iran. India stands with Iran in this time of sorrow," PM Modi posted on X. 

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