Iranian President Raisi, FM Amir-Abdollahian confirmed dead in chopper crash

Tehran, May 20 (UNI) Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian along with some other senior Iranian officials were confirmed to have died in a helicopter crash in northwestern Iran on Sunday.

The accident happened as President Raisi, the eighth President of Iran, and his entourage were returning from Khoda Afarin region in Iran’s northwestern province of East Azarbaijan after inaugurating a dam at the common border with the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The tragic accident has killed President Raisi, Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian, Friday prayers leader of Tabriz Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Al-e-Hashem, Governor of East Azarbaijan Malek Rahmati, and members of the president’s security team and the crew, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

The wreckage of the helicopter was found by rescue teams in the wee hours of Monday after hours of search operations.

Head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) Pirhossein Kolivand said that the location of the crashed helicopter carrying President Raeisi was spotted and there was no sign of surviving passengers.

The president’s convoy included three helicopters. Two of the choppers carrying a number of ministers and officials had landed safely in the foggy weather on Sunday, but contact was lost with the chopper carrying the President around half an hour after take-off.

Meanwhile, the cabinet of ministers of the Iranian administration convened an emergency meeting on Monday morning after the official confirmation of the death of President Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in a helicopter crash.

The cabinet issued a statement after the meeting, offering condolences on the passing away of the president and his companions in the helicopter crash.

The ministers paid tribute to the late president for his tireless efforts in his post, saying President Raisi devoted his life to the Iranian nation.

The ministers emphasized that they will vigorously keep to the path of President Raisi to serve the country, assuring the Iranian people that there will be no disruption to the administrative affairs.

According to the Iranian Constitution, Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber will be in charge of the cabinet of ministers, at the discretion of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, before the election of a new president.

The Constitution stipulates that a council consisting of the Parliament speaker, the Judiciary chief, and the first vice president should be formed and make arrangements for the election of a new president within 50 days.

Ebrahim Raisi, 64, was born in the holy city of Mashhad. He was elected president in 2021. Before that, he served as the judiciary chief, the general prosecutor and the vice-chairman of the Assembly of Experts. Raisi was also a member of the Expediency Council.

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