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Search for Iranian president continues, his life is in danger

Sunday, 19 May 2024, 20:19
Search for Iranian president continues, his life is in danger
Search and rescue operation in Iran. Photo: IRNA

In Iran, all resources, including the country’s military, are being used to search for President Ebrahim Raisi, whose helicopter crashed earlier today.

Source: Tasnim News Agency; Reuters

Details: Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Mohammad Baqeri ordered the armed forces, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the regular army and law enforcement agencies, to use "all resources, equipment and capabilities available for search and rescue operations in connection with the crash of President Raisi’s helicopter and its passengers".


The head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, Pir Hossein Kolivand, said that 40 rapid response teams are conducting search operations in the area where the helicopter crashed.

He added that the weather conditions are extremely unfavourable and the terrain is difficult to navigate.

An Iranian official told Reuters on conditions of anonymity that the lives of President Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian are "in danger" following the helicopter crash.

"We are still hopeful, but the information coming from the crash site is very worrying," he said.

Iranian state media reported that the crash was caused by bad weather, which complicates rescue operations.

"It’s dark now and it’s starting to rain, but the search is ongoing. The rescue teams have reached the area [...] but the rain has created mud, which makes the search more difficult," a local reporter told state television.

Iranian state television stopped all of its regular broadcasting to broadcast prayers for Raisi being held across the country, with a live feed of the rescue operation in the corner of the screen.

Reuters reported that the incident occurred amid growing divisions within Iran due to a series of political, social and economic crises. Iran’s leadership is facing international pressure over their controversial nuclear programme and deepening military ties with Russia amid the war in Ukraine.

Previously: A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi crashed on Sunday, 19 May, as he was returning from Azerbaijan. The crash happened near the city of Jolfa, about 600 km northwest of the Iranian capital Tehran.

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