Helicopter carrying Iran’s president suffers a ‘hard landing,’; rescue underway


PTI, May 19, 2024, 8:13 PM IST

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi suffered a “hard landing” on Sunday, Iranian state media reported, without elaborating. Some began urging the public to pray for Raisi and the others on board as rescue crews sped through a misty, rural forest where his helicopter was believed to be. Raisi was travelling in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province. State TV said the incident happened near Jolfa, a city on the border with with the nation of Azerbaijan, some 600 kilometres (375 miles) northwest of the Iranian capital, Tehran. Later, the TV put it farther east near the village of Uzi, but details remained contradictory.

Travelling with Raisi were Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province and other officials and bodyguards, the state-run IRNA news agency reported. One local government official used the word “crash” to describe the incident, but he acknowledged to an Iranian newspaper that he had yet to reach the site himself. Neither IRNA nor state TV offered any information on Raisi’s condition. However, hard-liners urged the public to pray for him.

“The esteemed president and company were on their way back aboard some helicopters and one of the helicopters was forced to make a hard landing due to the bad weather and fog,” Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said in comments aired on state TV. ”Various rescue teams are on their way to the region but because of the poor weather and fogginess it might take time for them to reach the helicopter.” He added: ”The region is a bit (rugged) and it’s difficult to make contact. We are waiting for rescue teams to reach the landing site and give us more information.”

Rescuers were attempting to reach the site, state TV said, but had been hampered by poor weather conditions. There had been heavy rain and fog reported with some wind. IRNA called the area a “forest” and the region is known to be mountainous as well. State TV aired images of SUVs racing through a wooded area. Raisi had been in Azerbaijan early Sunday to inaugurate a dam with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. The dam is the third one that the two nations built on the Aras River. The visit came despite chilly relations between the two nations, including over a gun attack on Azerbaijan’s Embassy in Tehran in 2023, and Azerbaijan’s diplomatic relations with Israel, which Iran’s Shiite theocracy views as its main enemy in the region. Iran flies a variety of helicopters in the country, but international sanctions make it difficult to obtain parts for them. Its military air fleet also largely dates back to before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Raisi, 63, is a hard-liner who formerly led the country’s judiciary. He is viewed as a protégé of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and some analysts have suggested he could replace the 85-year-old leader after his death or resignation from the role. Raisi won Iran’s 2021 presidential election, a vote that saw the lowest turnout in the Islamic Republic’s history. Raisi is sanctioned by the US in part over his involvement in the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 at the end of the bloody Iran-Iraq war.

Under Raisi, Iran now enriches uranium at nearly weapons-grade levels and hampers international inspections. Iran has armed Russia in its war on Ukraine, as well as launched a massive drone-and-missile attack on Israel amid its war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. It also has continued arming proxy groups in the Mideast, like Yemen’s Houthi rebels and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Karnataka govt bans usage of artificial colours in kebabs

Congress Ministers again push for 3 more Deputy CMs in Karnataka

Mangaluru: MP Brijesh Chowta swears oath in the name of Tulu Nadu’s Daivas

Young India for Zimbabwe tour: Gill to lead, Riyan Parag first from NE to get India call-up

BJP to launch programme against 1975 Emergency to ‘expose authoritarianism’ of Congress

PM should have spoken on NEET issue, ‘exam pe charcha’ is long-term commitment to students: Omar Abdullah

Sanskrit, Hindi, Dogri, Odia: Linguistic diversity on display in Lok Sabha as new members take oath

Related Articles More

10th UN International Day of Yoga celebrations in Doha

Don’t open window shades of planes to take photos, warns China’s spy agency

Netanyahu tests truce proposal, says won’t agree to deal that ends Gaza war

Gunmen kill 15 police officers and several civilians in Russia’s southern Dagestan region

Indian man shot during robbery at convenience store in Dallas

MUST WATCH

What are the first signs of a hernia?

Elephantattack

Sapthami Gowda

Yaduveer Wadiyar

Cyanide mallika


Latest Additions

10th UN International Day of Yoga celebrations in Doha

ED arrests 2022 JKSSB sub-inspector exam paper leak case ‘kingpin’

Toy train compartment overturns in Chandigarh mall, 10-year-old boy dies

Karnataka govt bans usage of artificial colours in kebabs

Opposition hits back at PM, claims ‘undeclared emergency’ existed under BJP’s rule

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.