Iran undertook search work this Sunday, May 19, 2024, in the northeast of the country to find a helicopter in which President Ebrahim Raisi was traveling, which suffered an “accident,” senior officials and official media announced.

“An accident has occurred with the helicopter carrying President” Ebrahim Raisi in the Jofa region, in the western province of East Azerbaijan, Iran’s state television said.

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However, “unfavorable weather conditions” made these tasks difficult, Interior Minister Ahmed Vahidi told state television.

“Getting to the helicopter area may take time,” he added. The place in question is located in the Dizmar Forest, near the city of Varzaghan.

State television broadcast images of several members of the Iranian Red Crescent walking through thick fog.

It also broadcast images of worshipers praying for the president’s health in several mosques, including that of the holy city of Mashhad, in the northeast, Raisi’s hometown.

The crashed device was part of a convoy of three helicopters in which the presidential delegation was traveling.

Two of them landed safely in Tabriz, in northwest Iran, but not the helicopter in which Raisi, 63, was riding.

The official IRNA press agency reported after Raisi, as well as Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, were among the passengers of the plane, along with the provincial governor and the region’s chief imam.

IRNA pointed out that “more than 20 rescue teams, fully equipped, especially with drones and rescue dogs” were “sent to the scene.”

For its part, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Mokhber left Tehran in the afternoon heading to Tabriz with several ministers, according to the government spokesperson.

Raisi was with the president of Azerbaijan

Raisi traveled this Sunday, May 19, to the province of East Azerbaijan, where he inaugurated a dam together with the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, on the border between both countries.

During a joint press conference, He again expressed his support for the Palestinians in the war in the Gaza Strip between Hamas and Israel. “We think that Palestine is the first issue of the Muslim world, we are convinced that the people of Iran and Azerbaijan continue to support the people of Palestine and Gaza and that they detest the Zionist regime,” he declared.

Iran launched an unprecedented attack on April 13 against Israel, with 350 drones and missiles, most of which were intercepted with the help of the United States and other allied countries.

Raisi, a 63-year-old ayatollah, is president of Iran since 2021.

Considered as an ultra-conservative, Raisi was elected on June 18, 2021 in the first round in elections marked by a record abstention for presidential elections, and in the absence of any major rival.

He always appears wearing a black turban and dressed in a long religious coat. He succeeded the moderate Hasan Rohani, who had defeated him in the 2017 presidential elections. and that, after two consecutive terms, he could not run again.

Raisi came out stronger from the legislative elections held in March, which were the first elections organized at the national level since the outbreak of the protest movement that shook Iran at the end of 2022 following the death of Mahsa Amini, who died after being arrested for not respecting the dress code that governs the Islamic Republic.

After the March elections, The Iranian president was satisfied with the “new historic failure inflicted on Iran’s enemies after the riots” of 2022.

Born in November 1960, Raisi spent the bulk of his career in the judicial system. Before becoming president, he was the attorney general of Tehran and the country’s attorney general.

Raisi is on the US blacklist of Iranian leaders sanctioned by Washington, which accuses him of “complicity” in “serious violations of human rights”, something that the authorities in Tehran reject.

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