Iranian President Raisi, FM Abdollahian Die In Helicopter Crash


Iranian President Raisi, FM Abdollahian die in helicopter crash

The latest media reports say the wreckage of President Raisi’s helicopter was found this morning, extinguishing hopes of survival for those on board.

TEHRAN: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-May 20th, 2024) Iranian media confirmed the deaths of President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in a helicopter crash on Monday.

According to the media, the wreckage of President Raisi’s helicopter was found this morning, extinguishing hopes of survival for those on board.

The crash has been attributed to rain and severe fog, with the wreckage discovered on a mountainside.

The presidential helicopter lost contact with two other helicopters half an hour after takeoff.

Earlier, an Iranian official stated that hopes for President Raisi’s survival were low following the crash. Speaking to a British news agency, the official mentioned that no signs of life were found at the crash site, as the helicopter was completely burned. The head of the Iranian Red Crescent also indicated that there were no signs of surviving passengers after the crash.

On the evening of May 19, President Raisi’s helicopter crashed in the mountainous region of Azerbaijan. President Raisi was returning to Tabriz after inaugurating a dam near the Iranian-Azerbaijan border when the helicopter had to make an emergency landing due to bad weather. Along with the president, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the governor of East Azerbaijan, Malek Rahmati, and other important officials were on board.

Rescue operations were hampered by bad weather, with teams from six provinces, including Tehran, Alborz, Ardabil, East Azerbaijan, and West Azerbaijan, participating. Iranian military units and Turkish rescue personnel also joined the efforts. Turkey dispatched a special mountain rescue team equipped with night vision devices, and 47 Russian experts were tasked with finding the helicopter.

According to Arab media, a Turkish drone located the helicopter, but rescue efforts were challenged by severe fog and adverse weather conditions.

Ebrahim Raisi, who was considered a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was born in 1960 in Iran’s second-largest city, Mashhad. His father, a scholar, passed away when Raisi was only five years old. Following in his father’s footsteps, Raisi began studying at a seminary in the holy city of Qom at the age of 15. As a student, he participated in protests against the Western-backed Shah of Iran, who was overthrown in the 1979 Islamic Revolution led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Post-revolution, Raisi joined the judiciary, serving as a prosecutor in various cities and undergoing training under Ayatollah Khamenei, who became Iran’s president in 1981. By age 25, Raisi was appointed deputy prosecutor of Tehran. Before becoming Iran’s Prosecutor General in 2014, he served as Tehran’s prosecutor, head of the State Inspectorate Organization, and first deputy head of the judiciary.

In 2017, Raisi surprised many by running for president, although he lost to Hassan Rouhani, who won 57% of the vote in the first round. Raisi faced significant challenges during his tenure, especially after the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody in September 2022, which sparked widespread protests.

In March 2023, Iran and Saudi Arabia signed a surprising agreement to restore diplomatic relations, easing regional tensions. However, the war in Gaza that started on October. Iran expressed support for Gaza and fired missiles on Israel.

Abdullah Hussain

Abdullah Hussain is a staff member who writes on politics, human rights, social issues and climate change.