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Iranian President, Top Officials Die In Helicopter Crash



President Raisi Was A Passionate Leader, Tinubu Mourns Iranian President

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, along with the country’s foreign minister and several other officials, were found dead on Monday following a helicopter crash in a foggy, mountainous region in the northwest of the country, state media reported.

News About Nigeria reports that Raisi, 63, had recently overseen an unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel under the direction of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

State TV did not immediately specify the cause of the crash, which happened in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province.

Among the deceased were Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, 60, the province’s governor, other officials, and bodyguards, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

Early Monday, Turkish authorities released drone footage showing a fire in the wilderness, suspected to be the helicopter wreckage. 

The coordinates placed the fire about 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the Azerbaijan-Iranian border. 

Footage from IRNA showed the crash site in a steep valley within a green mountain range, with soldiers speaking in the local Azeri language confirming the discovery.

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev expressed shock over the incident, noting Raisi had been returning from a visit to Iran’s border with Azerbaijan, where he had inaugurated a dam with Aliyev.

Supreme Leader Khamenei stated that the government’s operations would continue uninterrupted.

According to Iran’s constitution, the vice president assumes the presidency with Khamenei’s approval, followed by a new election within 50 days.

First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber began receiving calls from officials and foreign governments, and an emergency Cabinet meeting was convened.

Raisi, a hard-liner and former judiciary chief, was seen as a potential successor to the 85-year-old Khamenei.

With Raisi’s death, attention may turn to Mojtaba Khamenei, the supreme leader’s 55-year-old son.

Raisi won the 2021 presidential election, which had the lowest turnout in the Islamic Republic’s history.

He was sanctioned by the U.S. for his role in the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.

The Cabinet, in a statement, pledged to continue Raisi’s path, assuring the public of the country’s stable management with “the help of God and the people”.