Helicopter Carrying Iran's President Crashes, Search Underway

By Bill Galluccio

May 19, 2024

IRAN-AZERBAIJAN-ACCIDENT
Photo: ALI HAMED HAGHDOUST / AFP / Getty Images

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian crashed on Sunday (May 19). The helicopter was transporting Raisi from a ceremony to open a dam on Iran's border with Azerbaijan when it crashed in a remote mountainous region. 

Iranian state media said that bad weather caused the crash and that dense fog in the area was complicating rescue efforts

"The helicopters of the 6th combat base of Tabriz Air Force arrived in the Varzeqan area according to the order to carry out relief operations," the Commander of Iran's 6th Air Force Base said Sunday, according to CNN. "These helicopters, along with the rescue team, were sent to the helicopter accident area of the president's convoy from the early hours. Unfortunately, the operation failed due to unfavorable weather conditions."

Iranian Vice President for Executive Affairs Mohsen Mansouri told Iranian media they made radio contact with two people on the helicopter, and "it appears that the incident was not severe."

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