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Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi Dies In Helicopter Crash

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has been confirmed dead after the helicopter he was travelling in crashed in poor weather.

The bodies of Raisi, as well as the foreign minister and others who were aboard, were found on Monday morning, some hours after their helicopter crashed in Iran’s wild northwest region, state media reported.

The charred wreckage of the helicopter which crashed on Sunday carrying Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and six other passengers and crew was found early on Monday after an overnight search in blizzard conditions.

Supreme Leader Khamenei, who holds ultimate power with a final say on foreign policy and Iran’s nuclear programme, said First Vice President Mohammad Mokheber, would take over as interim president, the official IRNA news agency reported.

“I announce five days of public mourning and offer my condolences to the dear people of Iran,” Khamenei said in a statement. Mokhber, like Raisi, is seen as close to Khamenei.

Under the Islamic Republic’s constitution, a new presidential election must be held within 50 days.

Footage from Iranian state television showed wreckage scattered on a foggy hillside, while separate images from IRNA showed Red Crescent workers carrying a covered body on a stretcher. All those aboard the helicopter were killed, a senior Iranian official had earlier told Reuters.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani was appointed as acting foreign minister following the death of Amirabdollahian, IRNA said.

The crash comes at a time of growing dissent within Iran over an array of political, social and economic crises. Iran’s clerical rulers face international pressure over Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme and its deepening military ties with Russia during the war in Ukraine.

 

 

 

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