Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s Helicopter Crashes in Mountains Amid Heavy Fog

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's Helicopter Crashes in Mountains Amid Heavy Fog

In a shocking and concerning event, a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian crashed on Sunday. The accident occurred while they were crossing mountainous terrain in heavy fog after a visit to the border with Azerbaijan.


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Iran’s President Raisi Missing After Helicopter Crash in Deadly Mountain Fog: Rescue Efforts Underway



Details of the Crash

The helicopter accident happened in the Jofa region of East Azerbaijan province. The bad weather, including thick fog, significantly complicated the rescue efforts. State TV halted its regular programming to show prayers being held for President Raisi across the country, alongside live coverage of rescue teams searching the mountainous area on foot.


An Iranian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters, “We are still hopeful, but the information coming from the crash site is very concerning.” The official indicated that both Raisi and the Foreign Minister’s lives were at risk following the crash.



Rescue Efforts

The Iranian state news agency IRNA reported that harsh weather conditions and heavy fog made it difficult for rescue teams to reach the accident site. Footage broadcast by state TV showed an Iranian Red Crescent team walking up a slope in the thick fog. Additionally, live footage displayed crowds of worshippers reciting prayers in the holy Shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad, Raisi’s hometown.




Helicopter Convoy

The presidential convoy included three helicopters. According to Tasnim news agency, the other two helicopters reached their destination safely. However, the helicopter carrying Raisi and other officials, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, made a hard landing due to bad weather conditions. Communication with the aircraft has been challenging.




Background of President Ebrahim Raisi

President Ebrahim Raisi, born in 1960 in the holy city of Mashhad in northeast Iran, has had a significant political career. He rose to high office early, becoming the prosecutor-general of Karaj near Tehran at just 20 years old. He later served as Tehran’s prosecutor-general from 1989 to 1994, deputy chief of the Judicial Authority for a decade from 2004, and national prosecutor-general in 2014.

Raisi’s presidency began in June 2021, succeeding the moderate Hassan Rouhani. Since taking office, Raisi has faced numerous crises, including deep social unrest and economic challenges due to U.S. sanctions over Iran’s contested nuclear program. His administration has also overseen a bloody crackdown on anti-government protests and pushed hard in nuclear talks with world powers.




Raisi’s Policies and Position

In Iran’s dual political system, which is divided between the clerical establishment and the government, the supreme leader has the final say on all major policies. However, many see Raisi as a strong contender to succeed his 85-year-old mentor, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Khamenei has strongly endorsed Raisi’s main policies.

Since taking office, Raisi has ordered a tightening of morality laws and emphasized Iran’s support for Palestinians. Following Sunday’s dam inauguration, Raisi reiterated Iran’s commitment to the Palestinian cause, a central tenet of its foreign policy since the 1979 Islamic revolution.




Recent Activities

Raisi was visiting the East Azerbaijan province on Sunday to inaugurate the Qiz-Qalaisi Dam, a joint project with Azerbaijan. The dam project underscores Iran’s efforts to foster regional cooperation despite ongoing geopolitical tensions.




Global and Regional Context

Raisi’s presidency has been marked by several significant events. In September 2022, the death of Iranian-Kurd Mahsa Amini in custody triggered a wave of mass protests across Iran. The social unrest highlighted deep-rooted issues within the country, from economic hardships to demands for greater freedoms.

In March 2023, Iran and regional rival Saudi Arabia signed a surprise deal restoring diplomatic relations, a significant step towards regional stability. However, the war in Gaza that began on October 7, 2023, escalated regional tensions. In April 2024, Tehran launched hundreds of missiles and rockets at Israel, further straining international relations.




The Aftermath

As the search and rescue operations continue, the Iranian public and international community await updates on the condition of President Raisi and Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian. The incident has undoubtedly added another layer of complexity to the already tense political climate in Iran.



Prayers and Hope

The nation remains on edge, with state TV continuously showing scenes of prayers and rescue efforts. The heavy fog and difficult terrain pose significant challenges, but rescue teams are doing their utmost to reach and recover those involved in the crash.




In conclusion, the helicopter crash carrying President Raisi is a significant event that has drawn global attention. The outcome of the rescue efforts will have substantial implications for Iran’s political landscape and its ongoing challenges. The world watches with bated breath, hoping for positive news from the mountainous region of East Azerbaijan.




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