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BREAKING: Helicopter carrying Iran’s president crashes

Screenshot 2024 05 19 at 2.41.59 PM

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has reportedly suffered a “hard landing” on Sunday, Iranian state television reported, with no details.

According to Associated Press, it was not cleared if the President was onboard.

Raisi was traveling in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, when the incident happened near Jolfa, a city on the border with with the nation of Azerbaijan, some 600 kilometers (375 miles) northwest of the Iranian capital, Tehran.

Rescuers were attempting to reach the site, state TV said, but had been hampered by poor weather condition in the area. There had been heavy rain reported with some wind.

Raisi had been in Azerbaijan early Sunday to inaugurate a dam with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. The dam is the third one that the two nations built on the Aras River.

Iran flies a variety of helicopters in the country, but international sanctions make it difficult to obtain parts for them. Its military air fleet also largely dates back to before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Raisi, 63, is a hard-liner who formerly led the country’s judiciary. He is viewed as a protégé of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and some analysts have suggested he could replace the 85-year-old leader after his death or resignation from the role.

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