HomeNewsDiplomatic NewsHelicopter carrying Iran’s president suffers a hard landing

Helicopter carrying Iran’s president suffers a hard landing

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Dubai, 19 May 2024(TDI): A helicopter carrying Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, and other local officials was involved in a “crash upon landing” on Sunday, state media Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) has confirmed.

“Some unconfirmed reports say that the helicopter carrying President Raisi has had an accident in East Azerbaijan province,” state television said, adding that rescue efforts were underway.

“The harsh weather conditions and heavy fog have made it difficult for the rescue teams to reach the accident site,” state media reported.

Meanwhile, Iran’s ISNA network reported that rescue teams have reached the crash site.

Following the reports, the semi-official Fars news agency called on Iranians to pray for Raisi.

Interior Minister Ahmed Vahidi told state TV that authorities were awaiting further details. 

According to the reports, 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.

Later, the TV put it farther east near the village of Uzi, but details remained contradictory.

Traveling with Raisi were Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, and other officials and bodyguards, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.

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.

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On Sunday, Raisi was visiting East Azerbaijan province where he inaugurated a dam project in the company of his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliev, on the border between the two countries. Raisi, 63, has been president of the Islamic Republic since June 2021.

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