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Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi confirmed dead in helicopter crash



Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been confirmed dead in a helicopter crash. 

The chopper, which also had Hossein Amirabdollahian, foreign minister; Malek Rahmati, governor of East Azarbaijan province; and Hojjatoleslam Al Hashem, Tabriz Friday prayer leader onboard, crash-landed Sunday afternoon in the Varzaqan region.

The commander of the president’s protection unit, Sardar Seyed Mehdi Mousavi, was also killed, as were a number of bodyguards and helicopter crew who have not yet been named.

Raisi, 63, was elected president on his second attempt in 2021.

The helicopter – one of three travelling in a convoy – crashed after it got into difficulties in heavy fog in the north of the country.

The incident sparked a massive search operation that was hampered by bad weather conditions.

He was regarded as a potential successor to Ayatollah Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader who has held the position since 1989.

In 2019, Khamenei named Raisi as head of the judiciary.

Raisi was also deputy chairman of the Assembly of Experts — the 88-member clerical body responsible for electing the next supreme leader.

State media reports that the Iranian government held an emergency meeting after the crash.

Search and rescue teams have begun removing bodies from the site of helicopter crash that killed Iran’s president and the others.

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