Incident involving a helicopter from Ira’s presidential fleet

It has been officially confirmed that a presidential fleet helicopter is being searched for in northern Iran. According to state media, President Raisi was also on board. Much else is still unclear.A helicopter from the presidential fleet is missing in northern Iran. According to reports from Iranian state-run media, President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian were also on board. What exactly happened is still unclear. The search in the East Azerbaijan province is difficult because of the “unfavorable weather conditions” with thick fog, Interior Minister Ahmed Wahidi said on state television. It is now dark there and, according to the media, it has started to rain again.The minister did not initially confirm that Raisi was actually on board the helicopter, which was part of a convoy of three helicopters belonging to the presidential delegation. He spoke of a “hard landing”. Two of the helicopters landed safely in the northwestern city of Tabriz, and a search is underway for the third.

According to reports in Iranian media, there was no contact with the president’s team, which fueled great concerns among government supporters. Television channels interrupted their regular programming to broadcast prayers for Raisi nationwide. The Iranian Armed Forces’ chief of staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, ordered all available army and Revolutionary Guard forces to be deployed to search for the helicopter, according to state TV.The international news agency Reuters reports, citing an unnamed insider, that the helicopter crashed while flying over mountainous terrain in thick fog on the way back from a visit to the border with Azerbaijan. The helicopter is being sought in a remote, mountainous forest region – near Jolfa, a town on the border with Azerbaijan.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on the population not to be worried or afraid, according to a report by the state news agency Irna. “There will be no interruption of government operations,” assured the spiritual leader of the Islamic Republic. State affairs would not be affected by the incident. Khamenei said he was praying for Raisi’s safety.

Raisi was returning with Amirabdollahian from a meeting with the President of neighboring Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. Together they inaugurated a dam. It was intended to be a sign of cooperation after the relationship between the neighboring countries was recently tense.Raisi has been President of the Islamic Republic of Iran since summer 2021. The 63-year-old is considered a hardliner. He had ordered the bloody crackdown on nationwide protests following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody a year and a half ago. The so-called moral police arrested her because she was said to have worn her headscarf incorrectly. He also stands for a tough stance in international negotiations over the Islamic Republic’s controversial nuclear program.

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