Iranian President Raisi confirmed dead

Middle East -->
Iranian President Raisi confirmed dead
Hopes of finding Iran President Ebrahim Raisi alive have faded

Drone footage of the wreckage taken by the Red Crescent and carried on state media FARS News Agency showed the crash site on a steep, wooded hillside, with little remaining of the helicopter beyond a blue and white tail.

AGENCIES | Iran’s president and foreign minister are presumed dead after Iranian media agences reported that “no survivors” were found at the crash site of a helicopter carrying the two men and seven others.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian were among the senior officials on board the downed helicopter.

Drone footage of the wreckage taken by the Red Crescent and carried on state media FARS News Agency showed the crash site on a steep, wooded hillside, with little remaining of the helicopter beyond a blue and white tail.

No official announcement of their deaths has yet been made.

Reuters news agency also cited an unnamed Iranian official as saying all passengers are feared dead.

"President Raisi's helicopter was completely burned in the crash ... unfortunately, all passengers are feared dead," the official told Reuters.

Rescue teams fought blizzards and difficult terrain through the night to reach the wreckage in East Azerbaijan province in the early hours of Monday.

“We can see the wreckage and the situation does not look good,” the head of Iran’s Red Crescent, Pirhossein Kolivand, told state TV.

“With the discovery of the crash site, no signs of life have been detected among the helicopter's passengers.”

Raisi, 63, was elected president in 2021, and since taking office has ordered a tightening of morality laws, overseen a bloody crackdown on anti-government protests and pushed hard in nuclear talks with world powers.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds ultimate power with a final say on foreign policy and Iran's nuclear programme, had earlier sought to reassure Iranians, saying there would be no disruption to state affairs.

A Turkish drone identified a source of heat suspected to be the helicopter's wreckage early on Monday and had shared the coordinates of the possible crash site with Iranian authorities, Anadolu news agency said on X.

State news agency IRNA said Raisi was flying in a U.S.-made Bell 212 helicopter.

The chief of staff of Iran's army ordered all resources of the army and the elite Revolutionary Guards to be put to use in search and rescue operations.

Earlier, the national broadcaster had stopped all regular programming to show prayers being held for Raisi across the country.

In the early hours of Monday, it showed a rescue team, wearing bright jackets and head torches, huddled around a GPS device as they searched a pitch-black mountainside on foot in a blizzard.

Reader's Comments

LATEST STORIES

SMEs call for expansion of digital capacity
business By Kenneth Kazibwe
17 hours ago
SMEs call for expansion of digital capacity
Buikwe residents demand RDC's removal
uncategorized By Herbert Sseryazi
17 hours ago
Buikwe residents demand RDC's removal
Kyaliwajjala truck disengaged and towed away
top-stories By Jacobs Seaman Odongo
18 hours ago
Kyaliwajjala truck disengaged and towed away
Gerald Kasaato is new NSSF deputy managing director
top-stories By Samuel Muhimba
19 hours ago
Gerald Kasaato is new NSSF deputy managing director