Top officials on Iranian president’s ill-fated helicopter contact rescue team

Two members of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s entourage have contacted rescue teams, the country’s deputy president for executive affairs Mohsen Mansouri has said.

According to the country’s news agency, IRNA, the air incident involving President Raisi’s helicopter “has not been rough”.

Mansouri said on Sunday that the helicopter of President Raisi and two more copters were en route to the city of Tabriz after the president and his Azerbaijani counterpart inaugurated Qiz Qalasi Dam at the border between the two countries.

Half an hour into their flight, Raisi’s helicopter lost contact with the two other copters, which prompted them to search the area, Mansouri said, adding that two members of the president’s entourage contacted rescue teams, which shows that the incident has not been hard.

Another promising point is that the Ministry of Communications has been able to determine the location of the accident within a radius of two kilometers, he added.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has prayed for Raisi’s return.

Ayatollah Khamenei reacted to the news of the helicopter crash on Sunday in a meeting with families of the staff and commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.

While expressing sadness about the worrisome incident for the president and his entourage, Ayatollah Khamenei expressed hope that the Almighty God would return the president and his colleagues to the arms of the nation.

The leader said, however, that the Iranian people should stay calm and be confident that the incident would not impact the country’s routine operations.

“The Iranian nation shouldn’t be worried. There will be no disruption to the operations of the country,” said Ayatollah Khamenei.

More than 40 rescue teams using search dogs and drones were sent to the site, reported the IRNA news agency.

Raisi was visiting the province where he inaugurated a dam project together with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, on the border between the two countries.

Raisi’s convoy included three helicopters, and the other two had “reached their destination safely,” according to Tasnim news agency.

Foreign countries were closely following the search effort at a time of high regional tensions over the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas since October 7 that has drawn in other armed groups in the Middle East.

A US State Department spokesman said: “We are closely following reports of a possible hard landing of a helicopter in Iran carrying the Iranian president and foreign minister.”

The article was originally published on Politics Nigeria.

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