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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Dead in Helicopter Crash

Tehran: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian have tragically died in a helicopter crash in East Azerbaijan province. The helicopter, carrying Raisi and other officials, crashed in a mountainous and forested area during poor weather conditions.

Rescuers located the crash site after an extensive search hampered by difficult weather. The crash occurred while President Raisi was returning from a visit to neighboring Azerbaijan, where he had been inaugurating a dam alongside Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

The Iranian state media reported that three helicopters were part of the presidential convoy, with the other two helicopters safely returning. However, the helicopter carrying Raisi went down, resulting in the deaths of all onboard. Initial reports indicate the bodies were severely burned, complicating identification efforts.

In response to the tragedy, Iran’s vice president will assume presidential powers, with new elections scheduled to take place within 50 days.

Former Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif expressed his deep condolences on social media, referring to the deceased as martyrs and describing the news as painful. He conveyed his wishes for peace and patience for the survivors and solidarity for the Iranian people.

The sudden loss of President Raisi, who was seen as a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has shocked the nation and prompted an outpouring of sympathy and solidarity from countries across the Middle East. Raisi, a former chief justice, was born in Mashhad, a significant religious hub for Shia Muslims, and received his religious education at the seminary in Qom, studying under prominent scholars including Khamenei.

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