Iran President, Ibrahim Raisi, Missing After Helicopter Crush

A Helicopter carrying Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi and other officials made a “hard landing” in the north of the country, ERBIL, Kurdistan region on Sunday afternoon, Iranian media reported. There are no immediate details of casualties or injuries.

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi told state media that one of three helicopters traveling together was forced to make a “hard landing” due to bad weather.

The incident occurred in East Azerbaijan province, in the north of the country where heavy fog is making it difficult for rescue teams to reach the site, according to IRNA. 

There is an extensive search and rescue operation underway with teams from the Red Crescent Society, as well as military and law enforcement personnel, Tasnim reported.

“We have utilized drones and aerial measures, but due to the poor weather conditions, aerial search operations are not feasible. The area is rugged and mountainous,” said Red Crescent chief Pir Hossein Kolivand, Tasnim reported. 

Vahidi said that the rescue teams are on their way to the area, but “communication is difficult and we hope rescue teams arrive quickly at the scene.”

Several other officials were on board, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, according to Tasnim.

The Iranian president travelled to East Azerbaijan to preside over the opening of a dam near the border with Azerbaijan.

Two other helicopters traveling in the same convoy reached their destination safely.

Iraq has offered its help to Iran in the search. Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani directed the Interior Ministry and the Iraqi Red Crescent Society to provide assistance, according to a statement from his office.

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