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Iran president latest: Helicopter carrying Raisi suffers ‘hard landing’

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been involved in an accident, with rescuers struggling to reach the scene

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been involved in an accident, with rescuers struggling to reach the scene (AP)

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A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been involved in an accident, with rescuers struggling to reach the scene.

Iran’s interior minister Ahmed Vahidi confirmed to state TV that one of the helicopters in a convoy carrying President Raisi, 63, had a rough landing on Sunday, adding that rescue teams are being hampered by difficult weather conditions.

The incident happened near Jolfa, a city on the border with the nation of Azerbaijan, some 600 kilometers (375 miles) northwest of the Iranian capital, Tehran, according to state TV.

President Raisi was travelling in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province with Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province and other officials, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.

Neither IRNA nor state TV immediately offered any information on President Raisi’s condition.

One local government official used the word “crash” to describe the incident, but he acknowledged to an Iranian newspaper that he had yet to reach the site himself.

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A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been involved in an accident, with rescuers struggling to reach the scene.

Iran’s interior minister Ahmed Vahidi confirmed to state TV that one of the helicopters in a convoy carrying President Raisi, 63, had a rough landing on Sunday, adding that rescue teams are being hampered by difficult weather conditions.

The incident happened near Jolfa, a city on the border with the nation of Azerbaijan, some 600 kilometers (375 miles) northwest of the Iranian capital, Tehran, according to State TV.

Alexander Butler19 May 2024 15:13

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Raisi, 63, is a hard-liner who formerly led the country’s judiciary. He is viewed as a protege of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and some analysts have suggested he could replace the 85-year-old leader after his death or resignation from the role.

He has been in power since 2021 when he won the country’s last presidential election, which saw the lowest voter turnout in the Islamic Republic’s history.

He currently is subject to US sanctions over his involvement in the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi is viewed as a protege of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Iranian Presidency/AFP via Getty)
Alexander Butler19 May 2024 15:24

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Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi meets with Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev, after which his helicopter has reportedly crashed near the city of Jolfa (Office of the President of the Iran)
Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi visits the site of a proposed road and rail bridge project over the Aras River just before his helicopter was involved in an accident (Office of the President of the Iran)
Alexander Butler19 May 2024 15:20
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