Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Confirmed Dead In Helicopter Crash

By Bill Galluccio

May 20, 2024

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Photo: ALEXANDER NEMENOV / AFP / Getty Images

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and other officials were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday (May 19). 

The helicopter was carrying Raisi and other top government officials from a ceremony to open a dam on Iran's border with Azerbaijan when it crashed in the Dizmar forest in Iran's East Azerbaijan province.

Officials said that eight people, including three crew members, were killed in the crash.

It took rescuers hours to reach the helicopter as their search efforts were hampered by heavy fog in the mountainous region. 

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared there will be five days of public mourning for Raisi, who was a conservative, hard-line cleric. 

Raisi took office in August 2021 after easily winning an uncompetitive election. 

Khamenei also confirmed Iran's First Vice President, Mohammad Mokhber, as acting president. A presidential election must be called within 50 days.

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