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Helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi crashes

Raisi, 63, was elected president in 2021

A helicopter carrying Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has been involved in an accident, state media reports.

Reports say the helicopter – one of three travelling in a convoy – made a “hard landing” after it got into difficulties in heavy fog in the north of the country

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said rescuers were still trying to reach the site due to the difficult weather conditions

Raisi was heading to the city of Tabriz, in the northwest of Iran, after returning from an Iran-Azerbaijan border area.

The crash comes at a time of growing dissent within Iran over an array of political, social and economic crises.

Iran’s clerical rulers face international pressure over Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme and its deepening military ties with Russia during the war in Ukraine.

Raisi, 63, was elected president in 2021, and since taking office has ordered a tightening of morality laws, overseen a bloody crackdown on anti-government protests and pushed hard in nuclear talks with world powers.

In Iran’s dual political system, split between the clerical establishment and the government, it is Raisi’s 85-year-old mentor Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, supreme leader since 1989, who has the final say on all major policies.

Developing story

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