Presidential helicopter lacking in Iran: What is understood up to now | EUROtoday

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Possible accident
What occurred to the Iranian president's helicopter? 40 rescue groups are in search of Raisi

Iranian President Raisi visited the border with Azerbaijan with this helicopter - now he is missing

Iranian President Raisi visited the border with Azerbaijan with this helicopter – now he’s lacking

© Ali Hamed Haghdoust / IRNA / AP / DPA

A helicopter carrying Iran's President Raisi and Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian is alleged to have crashed within the northwest of the nation. It continues to be utterly unclear what occurred to the passengers.

Note: This message has been up to date a number of occasions.

After an accident involving a helicopter with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian on board, 40 rescue groups are trying to find the scene of the accident within the northwest of the nation. As Iranian state media reported on Sunday night (native time), the destiny of the nine-member crew was initially utterly unclear.

Late within the night, rescuers had been apparently in a position to make contact with two occupants whereas trying to find the scene of the helicopter accident. In an interview on state tv, Vice President for Executive Affairs Mohsen Mansuri stated that contact had already been made with the crew on a number of events. The politician didn’t reveal any additional particulars. The rescuers continued to go looking on foot in Iran's East Azerbaijan province even after darkish – within the rain in a mountainous area.

The nation's cupboard met for an emergency assembly in view of the accident. First Vice President Mohammed Mochber chaired the assembly late within the night, state information company Irna reported. He initiated additional rescue operations. According to protocol, Mochber can be the top of presidency within the occasion of Raisi's demise.

The 63-year-old Raisi was getting back from a gathering with the President of neighboring Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, together with Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian. Together they inaugurated a dam. It was supposed to be an indication of cooperation after the connection between the neighboring nations was not too long ago tense. The helicopter then crashed in East Azerbaijan province. There had been 9 individuals on board, together with the governor and the Friday preacher from the provincial capital Tabris.

According to Interior Minister Ahmad Wahidi, rescue employees didn’t have quick access to the scene of the accident as a result of climate and the character of the terrain. There is subsequently no exact details about the state of affairs on web site. A reporter on state tv stood in thick fog throughout a reside broadcast from the province. As darkness fell, the rescuers on web site feared that the search would turn into tougher. Sniffer canine and drones had been additionally used within the search. As Iranian media reported, the scene of the accident is close to Jolfa – greater than 600 kilometers from the capital Tehran, near the border with Azerbaijan.

Big considerations amongst Raisi's supporters

In Raisi's hometown of Mashhad within the northeast of the nation, dozens of believers gathered on the central pilgrimage shrine, state radio reported. Followers additionally flocked to mosques in different elements of the nation, such because the spiritual stronghold of Qom. There was nice concern that one thing may need occurred to Raisi and Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian. On social media, nevertheless, there have been additionally many Iranians who had been comfortable concerning the accident. Iran's authorities warned towards unconfirmed data.

Iran's air power is taken into account to be very outdated and its modernization is making little progress within the face of strict worldwide sanctions. Many planes and helicopters date from earlier than the Islamic Revolution of 1979, when the nation had shut relations with the United States. Serious accidents and crashes happen repeatedly.

The European Union is monitoring the state of affairs, wrote Council President Charles Michel on Platform X. “We are closely following the reports that the helicopter with the Iranian president and the foreign minister on board had to land unexpectedly.”

Government is criticized for repressive insurance policies

Raisi was sworn in as Iran's new president in August 2021. The arch-conservative cleric formally turned the successor to Hassan Rouhani, who was not allowed to run after two phrases in workplace. As the main candidate of the political hardliners and the popular candidate and protégé of the spiritual chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Raisi gained the presidential election in June with nearly 62 % of the vote. His authorities has been criticized for years due to its repressive insurance policies and the financial disaster.

Iran has been within the headlines repeatedly not too long ago, and not too long ago there was even a menace of a regional conflict with its arch-enemy Israel. During Raisi's time period in workplace, the Islamic Republic deepened its financial and army cooperation with China and Russia, and relations with the West cooled, amongst different issues due to the dispute over the home nuclear program. The West additionally accused Iran of large human rights violations. Nevertheless, just some days in the past there have been once more studies of latest, oblique talks within the Gulf state of Oman with the USA.

Raisi is taken into account very influential

Experts had in the meantime handled Raisi as a doable successor to Khamenei, who turned 85 in April. Domestically – although criticism from the younger technology is now more and more directed towards all the system of the Islamic Republic – Raisi was always beneath strain. Most not too long ago, the federal government pushed ahead its controversial course in pursuing obligatory headscarves.

If Raisi and Amirabdollahian had been killed within the accident, the Islamic Republic might be plunged right into a home and overseas coverage disaster. Iran's overseas minister particularly has been extra within the public eye for the reason that starting of the Gaza conflict and has been a visitor of allies on quite a few journeys. It may even be troublesome for the state management to rapidly substitute the top of presidency because of an absence of alternate options.

mkb, Arne Bänsch