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BREAKING: President Raisi and Foreign Minister Martyred in Helicopter Crash

BREAKING: President Raisi and Foreign Minister Martyred in Helicopter Crash

TEHRAN, MAY 20: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, along with other officials, have martyred in a tragic helicopter crash. The accident happened on Sunday as they were traveling to Tabriz, the provincial capital city.

The helicopter made a “tough landing” due to dense fog, making rescue efforts difficult, according to national TV reports. The crash occurred near the Sungun copper mine, located between Jolfa and Varzaqan in East Azerbaijan province, about 70 to 100 kilometers from Tabriz.

Since the crash, 40 rescue teams have been sent to the forested and mountainous area. Poor weather has limited access to ground teams only, as flying in is not possible. The rough terrain and natural obstacles have made communication with the president’s team nearly impossible.

As night fell, the rescue crews had to avoid traveling by car because the roads were unpaved and rain had turned the ground muddy.

Among those on the helicopter were Governor of East Azarbaijan Province Malek Rahmati and the Friday prayer leader of Tabriz, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem.

Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, expressed concern and urged the nation to pray for the group. He assured that there would be no disruption in the country’s work.

Mohammad Bagheri, the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, ordered all military and law enforcement resources to be used to find the helicopter.

People across Iran have gathered to pray for President Raisi and his companions.

President Raisi had been in East Azarbaijan earlier on Sunday to open a dam with Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan. The crash happened near Jolfa, a city on the border with Azerbaijan, about 600 kilometers from Tehran.

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said the helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing due to bad weather.

The Supreme National Security Council has not held an emergency meeting about the incident, contrary to rumors on social media.

Countries including Turkey, Italy, and Qatar have expressed their support for Iran and offered help after the crash. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met with President Raisi earlier on Sunday and expressed Azerbaijan’s readiness to assist. The Iraqi government and Yemen’s Supreme Political Council have also offered support.

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson stated that Russia is prepared to help locate the helicopter.

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