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Iran Mourns as President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian Killed in Helicopter Crash

Ebrahim Raisi

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian were killed in a helicopter crash in the East Azerbaijan province on Sunday, Iranian state media reported. The Bell 212 helicopter carrying the high-ranking officials disappeared over a mountainous region amid heavy fog.

Iranian state television confirmed the absence of any signs of life among the helicopter’s passengers. “Upon finding the helicopter, there was no sign of the helicopter passengers being alive as of yet,” the broadcast stated.

Iranian state media released videos showing President Raisi onboard the helicopter, with footage depicting him looking out of an aircraft window and several senior officials, including Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian, seated opposite him.

In response to the tragedy, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared five days of national mourning. “I announce five days of public mourning and offer my condolences to the dear people of Iran,” Khamenei stated, expressing his grief over the loss of Raisi and the accompanying.

Following the death of President Raisi, Ayatollah Khamenei appointed Vice President Mohammad Mokhber to take over interim presidential duties. “In accordance with Article 131 of the constitution, Mokhber is in charge of leading the executive branch,” Khamenei announced. Mokhber is tasked with working alongside the heads of the legislative and judicial branches to organise presidential elections within a maximum period of 50 days.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement honoring President Raisi and his delegation: “Among the believers are men who have proven true to what they pledged to Allah. Some of them have fulfilled their pledge others are waiting. They have never changed in the least.”

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, expressed his sorrow over Raisi’s death: “Deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic demise of Dr. Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. His contribution to strengthening India-Iran bilateral relationships will always be remembered. My heartfelt condolences to his family and the people of Iran. India stands with Iran in this time of sorrow.”

The tragic incident marks a significant moment of grief and transition for Iran, as the nation mourns the loss of its leader and prepares for the forthcoming presidential election.

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