Iranian President and Foreign Minister Killed in Helicopter Crash

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Iranian rescuers located the crashed helicopter of President Ebrahim Raisi. The aircraft was completely burnt out. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and the country’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian died in a helicopter crash, the presidential office said Monday morning, 20 May. The Islamic Republic’s government will convene an emergency meeting following reports of Raisi’s death, the state-run IRNA news agency claimed. The aircraft completely burned out in the crash, an unnamed Iranian official told Reuters. His words are confirmed by the first photos from the crash site published by Iranian news agencies. They show Raisi’s helicopter in the thick of trees on a hillside. “No signs of life,” Iranian state television commented on the footage. Iranian state media say available photos from the scene suggest the helicopter crashed into a mountain peak. A few hours earlier, rescuers found the place where the Islamic Republic’s presidential helicopter crashed, said the commander of IRGC in the Iranian province of East Azerbaijan, General Asghar Abbas Ghalizadeh. Previously, Turkish Bayraktar Akinci drone detected a “heat source” that could have been Raisi’s crashed helicopter. A helicopter with the Iranian president on board made a hard landing in northwestern Iran on the evening of 19 May. Along with Raisi, the foreign minister, the imam of the mosque in the Iranian city of Tabriz, Sayed Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, and the governor of East Azerbaijan Province, Malek Rahmati, were on board. The Iranian delegation was returning from Azerbaijan.