Helicopter carrying Iranian President Raisi crashes, state media says

Details of his condition and location are contradictory so far.

CNN Reports: A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi crashed in a northern region of the country Sunday, according to state news agency IRNA. While rescuers have not reached the aircraft, a government spokesperson says officials made contact with two people aboard the helicopter “several times.”

Iranian officials say dense fog is making the search difficult in the remote, mountainous East Azerbaijan Province. As the night grows later in Iran, extreme cold will further complicate the effort.

The Guardian reports: The helicopter that crashed has been found by search teams, state TV have reported.There is no update yet on the condition of those on board. Whereas Iran’s Red Crescent humanitarian movement has denied the state TV report about the crashed helicopter being found.

In a post on X, Ali Bahadori Jahromi said there was still no update on Ebrahim Raisi and Hossein Amirabdollahian condition. “It is the right of the people and the media to be aware of the latest news about the president’s helicopter accident, but according to the coordinates of the accident site and the weather conditions, there is “no” new news until now,” Jahromi added. “In these moments, patience, prayer, and trust in relief groups are the way forward.”

Raisi, who is missing in Iran’s mountains after a helicopter crash near the border with Azerbaijan, is a hardliner who was instrumental in the last few years in steering Iran back towards the more uncompromising beliefs of the Islamic Republic’s revolutionary founders. A supporter of deeply conservative values on the domestic front, in terms of foreign policy President Raisi also carved out an increasingly aggressive stance, and it was on his watch that Tehran opted to launch its recent unprecedented missile and drone strike against Israel bringing the two countries into direct and open conflict for the first time.