Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi killed in helicopter crash

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday night at the age of 63. This was reported by Iranian state television. After a multi-hour search, the helicopter wreckage was found near the village of Tavil in Iran's East Azerbaijan province, a mountainous area where there was bad weather at the time of the crash. A period of five days of mourning has been declared in Iran, during which time the country's vice president has been appointed interim president.

Raisi had been Iran's president since 2021. Prior to that, he was chief justice. In accordance with Iranian constitutional law, when a president dies, the vice-president becomes the successor, currently Mohammad Mokhber. On Monday afternoon, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei agreed to Mokhber as the new president. Mokhber is a former officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The president's death also means that elections will be held within 50 days.

The cause of the helicopter crash is unclear. Iranian media, including state news agency IRINN, report that none of the occupants survived the crash. In addition to President Raisi, the aircraft included Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, a governor and other officials. The group was en route back to Iran from Azerbaijan, where they had participated in the inauguration of a jointly constructed dam with President Ilham Aliyev earlier that day.

Source: commonspace.eu with agencies
Photo: Rescuers found the crash site after daybreak on Monday. EPA

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