Iran’s President And Foreign Minister Confirmed Dead In Helicopter Crash
Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez (R) and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (L) sign bilateral agreements as Cuba's President Miguel Diaz Canel (2-R) and Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi applaud at the Revolution Palace in Havana on June 15, 2023. Raisi is on a diplomatic tour of Latin America with stops in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba --all the target of US sanctions. (Photo by YAMIL LAGE / AFP) / "The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by YAMIL LAGE has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [June 15] instead of [June 14]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require."
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The Islamic Republic of Iran’s president and foreign minister and other officials have been confirmed dead after a helicopter crash on Sunday while they were traveling in the eastern part of the country, according to Iranian state media.

The helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian crashed in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province after encountering extremely thick fog.

Reports began to break early on Monday that the site of the crash had been located and “no signs of life” were observed by rescuers.

One official told Reuters, “President Raisi’s helicopter was completely burned in the crash … unfortunately, all passengers are feared dead.”

Raisi, 63, was a hardliner who helped oversee the mass execution of thousands political prisoners in 1988 after Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa ordering it. There have been widespread allegations in Iran that Raisi only came to power because of a rigged election.

Abdollahian, 60, was also a hardliner who had close ties to numerous Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO), including Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and Palestinian groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said in comments aired on state TV that they were “on their way back aboard some helicopters and one of the helicopters was forced to make a hard landing due to the bad weather and fog.”

He said that the rescue crews had a difficult time locating and reaching the crash site due to the weather conditions, the rugged terrain in the region, and the loss of light.

The officials were returning from a trip to Azerbaijan early on Sunday where they attended an inauguration of a new dam on the Aras River with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

“Today, after bidding a friendly farewell to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, we were profoundly troubled by the news of a helicopter carrying the top delegation crash-landing in Iran,” said Aliyev. “Our prayers to Allah Almighty are with President Ebrahim Raisi and the accompanying delegation. As a neighbor, friend, and brotherly country, the Republic of Azerbaijan stands ready to offer any assistance needed.”

This report has been updated with additional information.

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