Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Killed in Helicopter Crash Due to Poor Weather

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash in the mountainous terrain of East Azerbaijan province, as reported by the Mehr news agency on Monday. The accident, attributed to poor weather conditions, prompted a large-scale search and rescue operation. The wreckage was located on Monday morning.

According to Iran’s constitution, if a president dies in office, the first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, assumes the presidency upon the confirmation of the supreme leader. A council comprising the first vice president, the speaker of parliament, and the head of the judiciary must organize a new presidential election within 50 days. Raisi, elected in 2021, was due for re-election in 2025; now, elections are expected by early July.

The crash occurred in the Dizmar forest area near Varzaghan in East Azerbaijan province. Raisi had earlier inaugurated a dam project with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi described the incident as a “hard landing due to weather conditions.” Raisi’s convoy included three helicopters, with two landing safely in Tabriz, while the third, carrying Raisi, lost communication.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the governor of East Azerbaijan, and the province’s main imam were also on board. Despite rescue teams’ efforts through blizzards and difficult terrain, the helicopter was found completely burned. A senior Iranian official confirmed to Reuters that Raisi, the foreign minister, and all passengers were killed in the crash.

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