Iranian President, Foreign Minister Died in Helicopter Crash

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Sunday, Iranian media reported that a helicopter carrying Raisi, Amirabdollahian and their companions made a hard landing in northwestern Iran. The delegation was on its way back from a visit to Azerbaijan. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and all other members of the delegation returning from Azerbaijan died in a helicopter crash in northwestern Iran, the Mehr news agency reported on Monday. In addition to Raisi and Amirabdollahian, the imam of Tabriz, Mohammad-Ali Al-Hashem, the head of the East Azerbaijan province, Malek Rahmati, the helicopter crew and one security officer were on board the helicopter, the report said. After the death of President Raisi, Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber will serve as head of state for the next 50 days until a new presidential election is held by a special council, the ISNA news agency reported. The council will consist of the heads of the legislative and judicial branches, as well as the first vice president himself, the news agency said, adding that the election can take place in June-July. Mokhber, in turn, said during an emergency meeting that the government will function without disruptions until the new election, as broadcast by Press TV. In addition, the Iranian government is expected to hold another emergency meeting over the death of the country’s president and foreign minister, according to local media. Vice President Confirms Reports of Raisi’s Death Iranian Vice President Mohsen Mansouri confirmed on Monday media reports that Iranian President Raisi and his delegation, including Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian, died in a helicopter crash in northwestern Iran. “We belong to Allah, and truly we will return to Him,” Mansouri said on X, attaching to the post a link to photos of Raisi. This phrase is traditionally used when reporting someone’s death. The bodies are being transported to the mosque of the Iranian city of Tabriz, as the search operations are concluded, Iranian news agency Mehr reported, citing head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, Pir Hossein Kolivand, as saying.

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