Iran state TV reports president's helicopter makes hard landing

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the country's foreign minister, and other officials crashed in the mountainous northwest reaches of Iran on Sunday, prompting a massive rescue operation in a fog-shrouded forest. The incident occurred as Iran, under Raisi and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, recently launched a drone-and-missile attack on Israel and has enriched uranium closer to weapons-grade levels.

Raisi was traveling in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province when the crash occurred near the city of Jolfa, close to the border with Azerbaijan. State media initially referred to the incident as a “hard landing” or an “incident,” with conflicting reports on the exact location.

The condition of Raisi and the others on board the helicopter remains unknown, and rescue efforts have been hampered by poor weather conditions, including heavy rain and wind. Despite the challenges, Iranian authorities and emergency services are working to locate and assist those involved in the crash.

The crash comes at a sensitive time for Iran, with ongoing mass protests against the government’s policies and actions, including issues related to the economy and women’s rights. Additionally, tensions in the Middle East have been heightened by the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, further complicating the situation.

International observers, including President Joe Biden, have been briefed on the incident, but details are still emerging. As the search and rescue operation continues, the Iranian public has been urged to pray for the safety and well-being of those involved in the crash.

The implications of this incident for the future of Iran and its leadership remain uncertain, but it underscores the challenges facing the country both domestically and internationally. As the situation develops, further updates will be provided by Iranian authorities and media outlets.


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