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Iran’s president, foreign minister dead in helicopter crash, state TV reports – National

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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s foreign minister and others were found dead Monday at the site of a helicopter crash after an hourslong search through a foggy, mountainous region of the country’s northwest, state media reported.

State TV gave no immediate cause for the crash Sunday in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province. With Raisi were Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province and other officials, as well as three crew members, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.

Turkish authorities early Monday released what they described as drone footage showing what appeared to be a fire in the wilderness that they “suspected to be wreckage of a helicopter.” The coordinates listed in the footage put the fire some 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the Azerbaijan-Iranian border on the side of a steep mountain.


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Footage released by IRNA showed what it described as the crash site, across a steep valley in a green mountain range. Soldiers speaking in the local Azeri language said: “There it is, we found it.” Shortly after, state TV in an on-screen scrolling text said: “There is no sign of life from people on board.”

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Shortly after, state TV in an on-screen scrolling text said: “There is no sign of life from people on board.” It did not elaborate, but the semiofficial Tasnim news agency showed rescuers using a small drone to fly over the site, with them speaking among themselves saying the same thing.

Iran’s supreme leader has appointed First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber as the country’s acting president.


Click to play video: 'Iranian president’s fate remains uncertain after helicopter crash'


Iranian president’s fate remains uncertain after helicopter crash


Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the announcement in a condolence message he shared for Raisi’s death in the crash Sunday. The helicopter was found Monday in northwestern Iran.

Khamenei also announced five days of mourning in the message. Iran’s acting president has appointed the country’s nuclear negotiator as the Foreign Ministry caretaker.

Mokhber appointed Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s nuclear negotiator, as Foreign Ministry caretaker, Cabinet spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi was quoted as saying.

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