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Iran’s President and Foreign Minister Found Dead at Helicopter Crash Site

President Ebrahim Raisi
President Ebrahim Raisi

A helicopter carrying high-ranking Iranian officials, including President Ebrahim Raisi, crashed on Sunday while en route to Tabriz City, reports IRNA news media. The helicopter was part of a convoy of three helicopters returning from the inauguration of the Qiz Qalasi Dam, located at the border with the Azerbaijan Republic. Everyone on board are reported dead.

The crash has claimed the lives of several key figures in the Iranian government. Among the deceased are Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, East Azerbaijan Province’s Governor Malek Rahmati, and Mehdi Mousavi, head of President Raisi’s security detail. Additionally, Mohammad Ali Al-e-Hashem, the Supreme Leader’s representative in the province, was also on board the ill-fated flight.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian
Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian

Local officials at the crash site have confirmed the deaths of President Raisi and his accompanying team. The Iranian government is expected to release an official statement soon, providing more details about the incident and the steps that will follow.

Ebrahim Raisi, aged 63, was born in the city of Mashhad. His political career has been marked by significant roles within the Iranian government. Before being elected president in 2021, Raisi served as the judiciary chief, general prosecutor, and vice-chairman of the Assembly of Experts. He was also a member of the Expediency Council, contributing to major policy decisions in the country.

Raisi’s presidency, though short-lived, was notable for various achievements. In September 2023, during Government Week in Iran, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei praised Raisi's administration for its performance in several key areas, including the economy and foreign policy.

This crash is likely to have significant implications throughout the Middle East. Iran has long supported armed groups in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and the Palestinian territories to project power and deter potential attacks from the United States or Israel, its adversaries since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Tensions between Iran and its rivals have escalated recently. Last month, under the leadership of Raisi and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran launched hundreds of drones and ballistic missiles at Israel. This was in retaliation for an airstrike on an Iranian Consulate in Syria, which killed two Iranian generals and five officers.

Most of the projectiles were intercepted by Israel with the assistance of the U.S., Britain, Jordan, and others. In response, Israel allegedly carried out a strike against an air defense radar system in the Iranian city of Isfahan. While there were no casualties, the strike sent a clear message.

For years, the two nations have engaged in covert operations and cyberattacks. However, the exchange of fire in April marked their first direct military confrontation. The recent helicopter crash adds another layer of uncertainty to an already volatile region.


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