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Investigations Of The Possible Causes Of The Raisi Helicopter Crash: A ‘Technical Failure’? The US And Israel denied any role.

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The Chief of Staff for the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Bagheri has announced the Creation of a Specialized Investigative Team of Military, Aviation, and other Experts that will Travel to the Crash Site of Late President Ebrahim Raisi’s Helicopter Crash Site in… pic.twitter.com/adf4GJx1dD

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Investigations Of The Possible Causes Of The Raisi Helicopter Crash – GS

 Possible Causes of the Raisi helicopter CrashExpert Opinion And Analysis

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi Dies in Helicopter Crash

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 Possible Causes of the Raisi helicopter Crash: Expert Opinion And AnalysisAccident or Assassination? On Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s Mysterious Death – The Quintposted at 20:01:23 UTC via “Possible Causes of the Raisi helicopter Crash: expert opinion” – Google News  The QuintIran’s President Ebrahim Raisi Dies in Helicopter Crash: Mzansi Discusses…
posted 17h ago by Michael Novakhov (Mike Nova) via The News And Times
 

Raisi The Prosecutor To President: Political Journey, Controversies & Crusade Against West Explainedposted at 16:09:17 UTC by Hindustan Times via Hindustan TimesIranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been confirmed dead in a helicopter crash in Iran’s Azerbaijan province. Raisi’s death comes amid rising tensions with the West and Israel amid the war…
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 Meeting between President Ilham Aliyev and President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi commences at state border between Azerbaijan and Iran [PHOTOS]posted at 17:37:19 UTC via azernews.azIlham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, met on May 19 at the state border between the Republic…
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 North Korean leader: “We need to prepare for a nuclear war”posted at 22:01:49 UTC via youtube.com#Kanal13 #likekanal13 #subscribekanal13 #warinukrainehttps://www.youtube.com/user/kanal13az?sub_confirmation=1 – SUBSCRIBE TO US!North Korea is preparing for nuclear war by intensively building up its strategic deterrent. It is obliged to do this by the…
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Michael_Novakhov shared this story . France’s government has no doubt that Azerbaijan is stirring tensions in New Caledonia despite the vast geographical and cultural distance between the hydrocarbon-rich…
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Michael_Novakhov shared this story . BBCChina-Russia relations: What is Xi Jinping prepared to pay for Putin’s war?Beijing is set to welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin, who hailed the “unprecedented” level of ties between the…
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Iranians gather at Valiasr Square in central Tehran on May 20 to mourn the deaths of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and several others in a helicopter crash the previous day. …
posted 14m ago via npr.org
 
Skip to contentSkip to site indexThe deaths of Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, and foreign minister leave the country without two influential leaders at a particularly tumultuous moment of international tension and domestic discontent, although analysts and regional officials expect little change in Iran’s foreign or domestic policies.Mr. Raisi, 63,…
posted 13h ago via nytimes.com
 

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, and other officials died in a helicopter crash Sunday near Iran’s northern border with Azerbaijan, Iranian state media said Monday morning.The helicopter was part of a convoy of three helicopters returning from an event inaugurating a joint dam project when it crashed in heavy…
posted 15h ago via abcnews.go.com
 

The death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in northern Iran has shaken the world and led to wide speculation about the circumstances.The helicopter transporting Raisi, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Tabriz Friday prayers leader Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, East Azerbaijan Governor General Malek Rahmati…
posted 19h ago via newsweek.com
 

Show key events onlyPlease turn on JavaScript to use this featureShow key events onlyPlease turn on JavaScript to use this featurePeter BeaumontIran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, who is missing in Iran’s mountains after a helicopter crash near the border with Azerbaijan, is a hardliner who was instrumental in the last few years in steering Iran back towards…
posted 1d ago via theguardian.com
 

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been involved in an accident, with rescuers struggling to reach the scene (AP)A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been involved in an accident, with rescuers struggling to reach the scene.Iran’s interior minister Ahmed Vahidi confirmed to state TV that one of the helicopters…
posted 1d ago via independent.co.uk
 

NEWS 19 May 202412:00 Ceremony to commission “Khudafarin” hydroelectric complex and inaugurate “Giz Galasi” hydroelectric complex was held with participation of Azerbaijani and Iranian Presidents NEWS Meetings 19 May 202411:00 Presidents of Azerbaijan and Iran met in the presence of delegations 19 May 2024, 11:00 NEWS Events…
posted 1d ago via president.az
 

Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, met on May 19 at the state border between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Islamic Republic of Iran, Azernews reports. The heads of state had a conversation held in a sincere atmosphere. — Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz…
posted 1d ago via azernews.az
 

Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, held a meeting on May 19 at the state border between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Islamic Republic of Iran.
posted 1d ago via video.azertag.az
 

Jabrayil, May 19, AZERTAC Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, held a meeting in the presence of the delegations on May 19 at the state border between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Islamic Republic of Iran. Greeting the Azerbaijani leader, President of Iran Seyyed…
posted 1d ago via azertag.az
 

Days after his removal from the defense minister post he held for over a decade, Sergei Shoigu faced a delayed entry into a Chinese government building because its security staff were not happy with his pass, it has been reported.Shoigu had helped spearhead Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in the role he had since 2012 before his boss…
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Iranians gather at Valiasr Square in central Tehran on May 20 to mourn the deaths of President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and several others in a helicopter crash the previous day.

Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

The crash that killed Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and several other top officials on Sunday was the latest high-profile deadly helicopter accident in recent years.

For most people, the death of retired NBA star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash in California four years ago comes to mind. But in 2018, Thai businessman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who owned the Leicester City soccer club, died along with four others in a helicopter crash. The previous year, Troy Gentry, then part of country music act Montgomery Gentry, was also killed in a crash in New Jersey.

An investigation of the crash that killed Bryant and the others aboard a Sikorsky S-76B concluded that the pilot became disoriented as the chopper flew into a cloud bank, thinking he was climbing when in fact he was plunging into a hillside. Pilot error was also blamed in the crash that killed Gentry, while an investigation of the crash involving Vichai concluded that the Leonardo AW169 helicopter was brought down by a failure of its rear rotor mechanism.

It’s impossible to say with certainty what may have caused the crash in Iran on Sunday that killed Raisi, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and the others. But one or more of the factors below may have played a part.

Could bad weather have been a factor in the fatal crash?

Early reports of the crash in Iran suggest that the helicopter was flying in a “foggy, mountainous region of the country’s northwest,” according to The Associated Press.

Poor weather conditions are a leading cause of helicopter, or rotor aircraft, crashes. According to an analysis presented at a 2021 forum of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, in 28% of all fatal helicopter crashes, weather was a factor.

“Wind was involved in most incidents but more rarely involved in fatalities. Bad visibility conditions due to a combination of low illumination and clouds were responsible for most fatal weather-related accidents,” the analysis says in its synopsis.

It notes that helicopters “typically operate at lower altitudes than fixed-wing aircraft and can take-off and land away from airports. Thus, helicopter pilots have decreased access to weather information due to connectivity issues or sparsity of weather coverage in those areas and at those altitudes.”

In February, five Marines were killed when their CH-53E Super Stallion — the largest helicopter operated by the U.S. military — crashed into mountains outside San Diego during a storm.

Helicopters are more dangerous than planes

While directly comparing the safety records of different modes of transportation is fraught with difficulties, an analysis conducted by the travel site The Points Guy in 2019 suggests that airline flights are considerably safer than “non-scheduled helicopter flights.” However, those helicopter flights still scored much better for safety than driving or riding in a car or SUV or even “general aviation,” such as flights in private planes.

Because of automation, most airplanes are forgiving of a pilot’s momentary distraction, but “helicopters require a lot of concentration,” John Goglia, a former member of the National Transportation Safety Board, said earlier this year, speaking to PBS. “And so sometimes people will lose their focus, and [then] the consequences are severe.”

This Bell 212 helicopter of the Argentine air force, seen in March 2015, is similar to the one that crashed in Iran on Sunday.

Juan Mabromata/AFP via Getty Images

The helicopter that crashed in Iran was a Bell 212, a twin-engine civilian version of the venerable “Huey” UH-1 that became ubiquitous during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and ’70s.

The Aviation Safety Network, which maintains a database of accidents for various aircraft, shows that the Bell 212 and its military equivalents have experienced about 30 accidents since 2017, eight of them causing fatalities.

The Bell 212 in Iran was probably one bought in the 1970s while the Shah was still in power, prior to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, according to The National, the state-run English-language daily in the United Arab Emirates.

U.S. sanctions have made spare parts hard to obtain

According to the same paper, after the Shah was overthrown, Iran continued to use many U.S.-made aircraft “but faced difficulty obtaining spare parts due to American sanctions.”

Iran’s semiofficial Mehr News Agency in March quoted the deputy of the scientific department of knowledge-based economy development, Javad Mashayekh, as saying that the country had finally become 100% self-sufficient in supplying airplane spare parts. It did not say anything specifically about parts for helicopters.

Mashayekh was reported by Mehr News Agency as saying that previously Iran had been “highly dependent” on foreign sources for such parts and that U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran’s nuclear program “caused a challenge in this regard.”

In a commentary published by the Gulf International Forum, journalist Kourosh Ziabari wrote that “Iran’s aviation industry has been blighted by years of neglect, underinvestment, and grueling sanctions” and that “accidents are recurrent and air transportation safety standards have steadily fallen.”

Mysterious crashes have claimed the lives of politicians and rivals alike

Nothing immediate suggests sabotage as a possibility in the case of the helicopter crash in Iran, but using an aviation “accident” as a way to eliminate a national leader or political rival has been suspected in the past.

Last August, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, who led an abortive coup against the Kremlin, was killed when the private jet he was in plummeted into a field outside Moscow. Many believe the destruction of the plane was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In April 1994, Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana, a Hutu, was killed when the aircraft he was in was shot down by a missile — an incident that triggered the Rwandan genocide. An inquiry did not bring charges against alleged culprits.

And in 1988, Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was killed when the C-130 transport plane he was aboard suddenly crashed shortly after taking off from an airport in Pakistan’s eastern city of Bahawalpur. At the time, witnesses reported seeing the plane flying erratically and then nosing down.

An official Pakistani report later concluded that “in the absence of a technical reason, the only other possible cause of the accident is the occurrence of a criminal act or sabotage.”

The deaths of Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, and foreign minister leave the country without two influential leaders at a particularly tumultuous moment of international tension and domestic discontent, although analysts and regional officials expect little change in Iran’s foreign or domestic policies.

Mr. Raisi, 63, and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian were killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash resulting from a “technical failure,” Iranian state news media reported. They were traveling from Iran’s border with Azerbaijan after inaugurating a dam project when their helicopter went down in a mountainous area near the city of Jolfa. Search and rescue teams scoured a rugged area of dense forest through rain and fog for hours before finding the crash site. There were no survivors.

The Iranian authorities have sought to project a sense of order and control. The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said there would be “no disruption” to the government’s work, and on Monday he said that the first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, would assume the role of acting president and must organize elections for a new president within 50 days.

A public funeral procession for the president and foreign minister will be held in the city of Tabriz on Tuesday morning, and the bodies will then be taken to Tehran for an official funeral on Wednesday, said the interior minister, Ahmad Vahidi. Mr. Raisi’s body will then be taken to his hometown of Mashhad for another funeral service on Thursday. He will be buried in one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam, the Imam Reza shrine, Iran’s state media reported.

The death of Mr. Raisi, a conservative who crushed dissent and had been viewed as a possible successor to Mr. Khamenei, occurred weeks after Tehran came close to open conflict with Israel and the United States. A long shadow war with Israel burst into the open in an exchange of direct strikes last month. And looming over everything is the question of Iran’s nuclear program. Iran has produced nuclear fuel enriched to a level just short of what would be needed to produce several bombs.

Here’s what else to know:

  • Mr. Raisi, a hard-line religious cleric who came of age during the country’s Islamic Revolution, was the second most powerful individual in Iran’s political structure after Mr. Khamenei. His death opens a new chapter of instability, just as the increasingly unpopular Islamic Republic is engaged in selecting its next supreme leader, and it might pave the way for Mr. Khamenei’s son Mojtaba to eventually assume that role.

  • Following his ascent to the presidency in 2021, Mr. Raisi consolidated power and marginalized reformists. He continued to expand Iran’s regional influence, backing proxies across the Middle East that have conducted strikes against Israel and the United States, and oversaw a deadly crackdown on domestic protesters, many of them women and young people.

  • The clandestine war with Israel burst into the open after Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, setting off the war in Gaza and a cascade of strikes and counterstrikes across the region. The hostilities became even more pronounced after Israel conducted airstrikes on a building in the Iranian Embassy complex in Syria in April. Iran retaliated with its first direct attack on Israel after decades of enmity, launching more than 300 drones and missiles toward the country, almost all of which were shot down.

  • The authorities in Iran also face domestic anger, with many residents calling for an end to clerical rule. Corruption and international sanctions have ravaged the economy. In the last two years, the country has seen a domestic uprising, the Iranian currency plunging to a record low, water shortages intensified by climate change and the deadliest terrorist attack since the 1979 founding of the Islamic Republic.

People gathering in Tehran on Monday to pray after the deaths of the country’s president, foreign minister and other officials in a helicopter crash.Credit…Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

The news that the Iranian president and foreign minister were killed in a helicopter crash brought shock and apprehension about what lies ahead as the country was flung, yet again, into crisis, according to interviews with analysts and politicians inside Iran and public comments by some officials on social media.

President Ebrahim Raisi was far from a widely popular or unifying leader, but in death his political opponents and rivals in Iran came together, offering condolences and messages of respect. Among them were the former presidents Hassan Rouhani and Mohammad Khatami.

Mr. Khatami, who boycotted parliamentary elections in March to show discontent for the conservatives’ unilateral rule, called Mr. Raisi a “respected and hardworking civil servant,” apparently putting aside years of animosity and targeted attacks on him and his reformist party.

Iran announced on Monday that it would hold presidential elections on June 28. Analysts in Iran said that although the stability and survival of the Islamic Republic’s rule was not at risk, many were apprehensive about who would be the next president and the makeup of the next government.

They said there were already discussions among analysts and politicians that the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, may encourage and allow for a more pragmatic and centrist president to form a new, less ideological government with the aim of defusing both domestic and international tensions.

“Naturally there will be political tensions and anxieties when a president is killed, and now we have no president in the country amid a long list of challenges,” said Nasser Imani, a conservative political analyst in a telephone interview from Tehran. “Everyone is wondering who will take over and what policies will be prioritized, but the system desperately needs to inject some new blood into the government and signal new policies both at home and abroad.”

Billboards honoring the deceased president, Ebrahim Raisi, quickly appeared in Tehran on Monday.Credit…Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

Two of the three main branches of Iran’s government — the presidency and the parliament — are now without leaders. Runoff parliamentary elections were held last week and a new parliament speaker has not been decided. The death of the foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, also disrupts Iran’s recent flurry of diplomacy with regional Arab countries to forge closer ties, manage the wider conflict with Israel and conduct indirect talks with the United States.

Sasan Karimi, an adjunct professor of political science at the University of Tehran, said in a telephone interview that Iran was facing three key issues politically: a new presidential election and cabinet; a new parliament starting soon with very little public support; and the question of who will succeed Mr. Khamenei, who is 85 and in fragile health.

Mr. Raisi was considered one of the front-runners to be Mr. Khamenei’s successor, and he was also an elected member of the Assembly of Experts, the clerical body that chooses the supreme leader of Iran.

Hatef Salehi, who held a senior management position at Tehran’s municipality but was fired recently because he criticized Mr. Raisi’s policies, said in a telephone interview from Tehran that he was nonetheless “very anxious” about Iran’s future and sad about the helicopter crash.

“I’m surprised to find myself so upset, but I think it’s mostly because I’m anxious about what may happen in this period of transition,” Mr. Salehi said. “Our sense of stability has been shaken even if we didn’t like Raisi and his policies.”

People gathering for prayers in Valiasr Square in Tehran on Monday after the deaths of the president and other officials.Credit…Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

For the average Iranian, Mr. Raisi remained as polarizing in death as in life. His supporters holding public mourning rituals in Tehran, his hometown of Mashhad and other cities, while his critics, many of them victims of Mr. Raisi’s brutal crackdowns and oppressive policies, celebrated.

Dr. Mohsen Asadi-Lari, a former senior official with the Ministry of Health, posted a message on Instagram that read: “Sometimes you have to wait for God to take revenge for you.”

He was referring to the failed attempts to seek justice through the judiciary for the deaths of his two children, Mohammad Hossein and Zeinab, who were killed when Iran’s Revolutionary Guards shot down a Ukrainian Arlines passenger plane with two missiles in January 2020, killing 176 people on board. Mr. Raisi was the head of the judiciary at the time.

Sources: Satellite imagery from CNES/Airbus via Google Earth; basemap via Mapbox and OpenStreetMap

By The New York Times

Michael Crowley

May 20, 2024, 4:43 p.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 4:43 p.m. ET

Following an official U.S. statement that said nothing specifically about Raisi’s record, Matthew Miller, a State Department spokesman, was scathing at a daily press briefing:

“We have been quite clear that Ebrahim Raisi was a brutal participant in the repression of the Iranian people for nearly four decades,” Miller said.

“Some of the worst human rights abuses occurred during his tenure as president — especially the human rights abuses against the women and girls of Iran,” Miller added. “That said, we regret any loss of life, and don’t want to see anyone die in a helicopter crash.”

Michael Crowley

May 20, 2024, 4:46 p.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 4:46 p.m. ET

Miller added that the Biden administration’s “fundamental approach to Iran has not changed and will not change,” and specifically noted that Americans would stand with Iranians pressing for “an open, free society and democratic participation.”

Michael Crowley

May 20, 2024, 3:37 p.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 3:37 p.m. ET

Matthew Miller, a State Department spokesman, dismissed a suggestion by a former Iranian foreign minister that American sanctions on Iran’s aviation industry were responsible for the crash.

“Ultimately, it’s the Iranian government that is responsible for the decision to fly a 45-year-old helicopter in what was described as poor weather conditions, not any other actor,” Miller told reporters.

Iran’s former foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, made the comments about American sanctions on Monday, according to the official Iranian news agency, IRNA.

In Tehran on Sunday, Iranians checking their phones after news that a helicopter carrying Iran’s president and foreign minister had crashed.Credit…Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

When they learned that President Ebrahim Raisi’s helicopter had crashed on Sunday evening, the many Iranians for whom Mr. Raisi was one of the faces of a corrupt, brutally repressive regime waited with bated breath — hoping his era of influence had finally come to an end.

Gallows humor was all over social media. One user posted an image of a bear on X, writing, “Don’t disappoint us,” egging on the bears of the mountain where the helicopter had gone down to finish the job.

“I was very happy and I was following the jokes online and waiting for it to be announced so that we could go out” to celebrate, said Safa, 55, a doctor in the northeastern city of Mashhad, Mr. Raisi’s hometown. She, like other Iranians interviewed on Monday, asked to be identified only by her first name for fear of government retribution.

Some Iranians mourned Mr. Raisi on Monday, including people in Mashhad who held an overnight vigil for the president there and wailed when they learned of his death. State media showed images of other vigils in Tehran, the capital, and across the country.

After the authorities announced the president’s death on Monday, another image circulated online: a helicopter being strangled and brought down by ropes of braided hair, a young woman with her head uncovered standing unbowed in the foreground. It was a triumphant reference to the “woman, life, freedom” protest movement that convulsed Iran for months starting in September 2022, which began as a demonstration against a morality law requiring women to dress modestly and wear headscarves.

Mr. Raisi’s government harshly suppressed the protests with arrests and violence. Online, the daughters of an antigovernment protester whom rights groups said was shot to death during the demonstrations posted a video of themselves toasting the president’s death on Monday with what appeared to be alcoholic drinks, which are also banned in Iran.

Iranians gathering in Valiasr Square in Tehran to mourn the death of President Ebrahim Raisi.Credit…Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

When Safa woke up to the news, however, she burst into tears, though not exactly of grief. She could not believe she was cheering the death of a man and indifferent to the deaths of even the flight crew.

“During these 45 years, they made us monsters,” she said, referring to Iran’s autocratic regime, which came to power in a bloody 1979 revolution.

“I haven’t been able to laugh since morning, and my heart aches for Iran and Iranians,” she added. “All this humor is a bitter expression of the pain of a nation. Otherwise, how can you be happy when people are burned and torn to pieces?”

For many Iranians who grew disenchanted with the country’s clerical rulers, Mr. Raisi embodied some of the darkest moments of the regime. They said his past as a prosecutor who helped order the executions of hundreds of political prisoners in the 1980s should have disqualified him from the presidency. His death, for them, was an escape from the justice he deserved to face.

Parisa, 57, a housewife from Lahijan, in northwestern Iran, said she felt relief at first when she heard the news.

“But after they were found, I thought this easy death wasn’t enough for them,” she said. “They should have been tried in court and forced to howl like dogs and been given long and painful punishments.”

All around Iran, conspiracy theories were flying. Some thought foreign powers might be to blame; others pinned it on internal machinations. But most agreed that it would have limited effect on what many Iranians care about most: overturning the system.

Kaveh, 40, an engineer from Mashhad, said he hated the regime but had shrugged at the president’s death. Because Mr. Raisi was not the final decision-maker in Iran and clerical rule remained in place, he said, his death would change little.

“One member of a mafia was killed,” he said. “That’s it.”

Eric Schmitt

May 20, 2024, 3:16 p.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 3:16 p.m. ET

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said on Monday that the Pentagon was awaiting the results of an Iranian investigation into the crash.

“Regarding the death of Iran’s president in the very unfortunate helicopter crash, we continue to monitor the situation,” Austin told reporters after a virtual meeting of Ukraine’s allies. “But we don’t have any insights into the cause of the accident at this point.”

Eric Schmitt

May 20, 2024, 3:18 p.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 3:18 p.m. ET

“I know the Iranians are investigating or will investigate, and so we’ll see what the outcome is, once their investigation is complete,” the defense secretary added.

Credit…Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA, via Shutterstock
The scene of a helicopter crash in Brovary, Ukraine, in January 2023 that killed more than a dozen people, including the interior affairs minister, Denys Monastyrsky.Credit…Ed Ram/Getty Images

The president of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, is but the latest leader to die in a helicopter crash. Mr. Raisi and Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, died on Sunday when the helicopter in which they were traveling went down in a mountainous area near the city of Jolfa in northwestern Iran.

Here is a brief look at some other prominent figures who have died in helicopter crashes:

A helicopter carrying senior Ukrainian officials including the minister for internal affairs, Denys Monastyrsky, crashed in January 2023 in a suburb of the capital, Kyiv, killing more than a dozen people including other pivotal figures in the wartime leadership.

Mr. Monastyrsky was a political ally of President Volodymyr Zelensky, and the crash, which happened near an elementary school, is believed to have been an accident.

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, and first lady, Olena Zelenska, attending a memorial ceremony for Denys Monastyrsky, and others who died in a helicopter crash in 2023.Credit…Nacho Doce/Reuters

Last month, the chief of Kenya’s military, Gen. Francis Omondi Ogolla, died when a military helicopter in which he was traveling crashed in the west of the country. Other officials were also killed.

It was not the first such death involving a prominent Kenyan. In 2012, George Saitoti — whose posts included finance minister, education minister, acting foreign minister and vice president — died when the police helicopter he was riding in plunged into a forest west of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital.

The president of Kenya, William Ruto, at the coffin of Gen. Francis Omondi Ogolla last month.Credit…Luis Tato/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In 2005, a helicopter carrying John Garang, who for decades had led the country’s rebellion against the Sudanese government, died in a helicopter crash in northern Uganda. He had been flying to southern Sudan.

Mr. Garang had been installed as vice president of Sudan just weeks before, having played a pivotal role in a peace agreement that ended that country’s civil war. His swearing-in drew in excess of a million people to the streets of Khartoum, the Sudanese capital.

Mr. Garang had led a rebel group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, that had fought since 1983 to topple the Sudanese government. South Sudan eventually became a nation in 2011.

John Garang boarding the helicopter that would later crash, in 2005 at the Entebbe airport in Uganda.Credit…Peter Busomoke/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Several other prominent people have also died in helicopter crashes. These include Thai billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, owner of the English Premier League soccer club Leicester City, who was killed in 2018 in a crash outside the stadium, and Aleksandr I. Lebed, a Soviet paratroop commander who later played a crucial supporting role in the birth of Russian democracy, who died in southern Siberia in 2002.

Michael D. Shear

May 20, 2024, 2:06 p.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 2:06 p.m. ET

John F. Kirby, a national security spokesman at the White House, offered the government’s “condolences” for the death of the Iranian president, but he said “we’re going to continue to stand with the Iranian people as they fight for their own civil rights and, as they should, and we’re going to continue to hold Iran accountable for all their destabilizing behavior in the region, which continues to this day.”

Michael D. Shear

May 20, 2024, 2:08 p.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 2:08 p.m. ET

Kirby added that the Iranian president “was responsible for atrocious human rights in his own country” and had “a lot of blood on his hands.” But, he said, “We certainly regret in general the loss of life and offered official condolences as appropriate.”

Farnaz Fassihi

May 20, 2024, 1:49 p.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 1:49 p.m. ET

The bodies of the president, foreign minister and other officials who perished in the helicopter crash will have funeral services in three cities over as many days, Iran’s state media reported. There will be a public procession in Tabriz, the closest major city to the site of the crash, on Tuesday. The bodies then will be taken to Tehran, the capital, for a state funeral on Wednesday. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will deliver the Islamic prayer for dead at the service, and Iran is expecting heads of states from allies and regional countries to attend, state media said.

Farnaz Fassihi

May 20, 2024, 1:51 p.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 1:51 p.m. ET

Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the foreign minister, will be buried in Tehran. But Ebrahim Raisi, the president, will be taken to his hometown of Mashhad for another funeral service on Thursday. He will be buried in one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam, the Imam Reza shrine.

Mojtaba Khamenei, the son of Iran’s supreme leader, for years has been considered to be a potential candidate to succeed his father, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.Credit…Saeid Zareian/via Getty Images

He is known as a man in the shadows of Iranian politics. Yet Mojtaba Khamenei has a powerful influence over a country that rarely sees or hears him.

For years, the son of Iran’s supreme leader has been speculated to be a potential candidate to succeed his father, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

That speculation has grown with the death of Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, who many analysts said was being groomed to replace the supreme leader, who is 85. Mr. Raisi’s death in a helicopter crash on Sunday will not only trigger new presidential elections. It could also shift the dynamics around the selection of Ayatollah Khamenei’s replacement.

“When people started talking about Mojtaba as a potential successor in 2009, I considered it a cheap rumor,” said Arash Azizi, a lecturer at Clemson University who focuses on Iran. “But it’s not that anymore. It’s very clear now that he is a remarkable figure. And he’s remarkable because he’s been almost entirely invisible in the public eye.”

Yet a growing number within Iran’s political establishment have begun to publicly endorse him, added Mr. Azizi.

Mr. Khamenei, 55, is the second son of the ayatollah’s six children. A conservative hard-liner, he grew up in the clerical and political elite of the Islamic Republic, established in 1979, and later fostered ties within the powerful Revolutionary Guards. Today, he is believed to play a critical role in running his father’s office.

But many Iran experts dismiss the idea that the ayatollah’s own son could replace him as a danger to the system.

Since the 1979 revolution deposed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, a small group of Shiite clerics that run Iran have held far more power than elected officials. But a foundational principle of the Islamic Republic was that it ended hereditary rule.

“If the supreme leader turns into a hereditary system, what does that mean? It means the system is dead,” said Mohammad Ali Shabani, an Iran analyst and editor of Amwaj, an independent online media outlet that focuses on Iran, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula.

Mojtaba Khamenei teaches at Iran’s largest seminary, in Qom, but other religious leaders have disputed his credentials. He has not achieved a high rank within the Shiite clerical hierarchy, something long seen as necessary for taking on the role of supreme leader.

Where he seems adept, however, is in political maneuvering.

A veteran of the Iran-Iraq war, Mr. Khamenei became a friend of his fellow soldier Hossein Taeb, who later became leader of the Revolutionary Guards’ paramilitary unit, the Basij, and later led its intelligence forces for many years. Mr. Khamenei is believed to have other high-level links to Iran’s security apparatus as well, said Mr. Azizi.

Mr. Khamenei was accused by Iranian reformists of playing a significant role in the 2005 election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a hard-line populist, who unexpectedly beat the leading candidates at the time.

In 2009, after Mr. Ahmadinejad’s re-election against the reformist leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi, antigovernment protests swept the country. Responding to Mr. Khamenei’s suspected role in the election, as well as rumors of his succession, some opposition activists chanted, “Mojtaba, may you die and not become supreme leader.”

Then, in 2022, in another wave of antgovernment protests, Mr. Mousavi, who has been under house arrest since 2011, called on Ayatollah Khamenei to dispel the rumors about his son succeeding him. The ayatollah did not respond then.

But earlier this year, he did, as the issue of succession becomes far more pressing.

The cleric Mahmoud Mohammadi Araghi, a member of the Assembly of Experts that selects the supreme leader, told the state-affiliated news agency ILNA that Ayatollah Khamenei was vehemently opposed to his son being considered.

The Assembly of Experts must unanimously select the supreme leader. Until then, they could choose a three- or five-member leadership council to run the country.

Ultimately, the fate of any potential successor lies within an opaque system that critics say has only become less transparent in recent years.

“The reality is that nobody knows,” said Mr. Shabani. “And that is crazy. There is zero transparency on a process that affects millions of Iranians.”

A correction was made on : 

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the age of Mojtaba Khamenei. He is 55, not 65.

How we handle corrections

Farnaz Fassihi

May 20, 2024, 1:10 p.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 1:10 p.m. ET

Ali Bagheri Kani, a deputy foreign minister and chief nuclear negotiator, has been named the next foreign minister of Iran. Bagheri Kani has led the Iranian delegation that has been secretly negotiating with the United States in the past year in Oman. He is a hard-line conservative, and it’s unclear if he will remain foreign minister after elections are held in 50 days and a new government takes office.

Wreckage at the site of the helicopter crash near Jolfa, in northwestern Iran, on Monday.Credit…Azin Haghighi/MOJ News Agency, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

While Iranian state media said on Monday that the helicopter crash that killed President Ebrahim Raisi was the result of a “technical failure,” some Iran observers suggested that decades of international sanctions, which have caused the country’s aviation fleet to atrophy, might have played a role.

Iran has been under strict international sanctions since the 1979 Islamic Revolution — including U.S. measures that for decades prevented the Islamic Republic from buying new Western planes and spare parts.

On Monday, Iran’s former foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said that by imposing sanctions on the country’s aviation industry, the United States was responsible for the crash. His comments were carried by the official Iranian news agency, IRNA.

Sanam Vakil, a Middle East expert at Chatham House, a research group based in London, said that Iran’s aviation sector has long suffered under sanctions.

“Iran has seen a lot of airline incidents, not just helicopter but airplane crashes, and I think this is definitely tied to sanctions,” she said.

Ms. Vakil said that while she did not have details of the circumstances surrounding Sunday’s fatal crash, it was telling that two of the country’s top leaders — Mr. Raisi and the foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian — were traveling in an aging helicopter. Iranian state media showed images of the crashed helicopter, a Bell 212, a model that was originally developed for the Canadian military in the 1960s, according to the Reuters news agency.

Iran has historically had a significant airline sector — its national carrier is Iran Air — that serves its population of 88 million people with domestic and international routes. In 1995, the United States under President Bill Clinton put in place sanctions that prevented Iran from updating its commercial airline fleet. They forced it to use substandard Russian planes and to patch up older jets far past their normal years of service, sometimes drawing on spare parts bought on the black market.

The 2015 nuclear agreement that Iran reached with world powers including the United States saw some of those sanctions lifted, but they were largely reinstated three years later when President Donald J. Trump pulled out of the deal. The Trump administration also canceled Boeing’s licenses to sell aircraft to Iran, nullifying a $16.6 billion deal that the aviation giant reached with Tehran in 2016 for the sale of 80 airplanes.

The reintroduction of the restrictions, which Iran’s then-president, Hassan Rouhani, described as economic war, further threatened the country’s oil, shipping and banking industries as well as its currency.

The Iranian authorities have attempted to build up domestic production and supplies of aircraft parts in line with a broader policy of developing a resistance economy as a bulwark against sanctions. But the high-tech spare parts important in aviation can be difficult to fabricate domestically, according to experts.

More broadly, the economic effects of the sanctions have fueled broader grievances and protests against the ruling establishment, including over a lack of political and social freedoms, corruption and economic mismanagement.

Cassandra Vinograd

May 20, 2024, 11:09 a.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 11:09 a.m. ET

More details have emerged about who else was killed in the helicopter crash. The Iranian state news agency, IRNA, reported that in addition to Raisi and Amir Abdollahian, Malek Rahmati — the governor of East Azerbaijan province — and Mehdi Mousavi, the head of Raisi’s security team, also died. It reported that Mohammad Ali Al-e-Hashem, the local representative of the supreme leader, was also with them.

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After scouring a mountainous area of dense forest, rescuers found the remains of the aircraft, which had the president and foreign minister on board.CreditCredit…Maansi Srivastava/The New York Times

Farnaz Fassihi

May 20, 2024, 9:53 a.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 9:53 a.m. ET

A public funeral procession for Iran’s president and foreign minister will be held in the northwestern city of Tabriz on Tuesday morning, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said. The bodies will then be taken to Tehran for an official funeral, he said.

News Analysis

A banner with a picture of President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran on Monday in Tehran. He had been seen as a top candidate to be the country’s next supreme leader. Credit…Majid Asgaripour/Wana News Agency, via Reuters

The sudden death of Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, opens a new chapter of instability just as the increasingly unpopular Islamic Republic is engaged in selecting its next supreme leader. Mr. Raisi, 63, had been considered a prime candidate, especially favored by the powerful Revolutionary Guards.

Even before the helicopter crash that killed Mr. Raisi, the regime had been consumed with internal political struggles as the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 85, the longest-serving head of state in the Middle East, is in declining health.

But given the Islamic Republic is facing internal protests, a weak economy, endemic corruption and tensions with Israel, analysts expect little change in Iran’s foreign or domestic policies. Ayatollah Khamenei has set the direction for the country, and any new president will not alter it much.

The system is “already on a trajectory to make sure that the successor of the supreme leader is completely in line with his vision for the future of the system,” said Ali Vaez, the Iran director at the International Crisis Group.

He described “a pretty hard-line vision” in which crucial areas of foreign policy, like support for regional proxy militias and developing components for a nuclear weapon, are not going to change.

Whoever is chosen as the next president, Mr. Vaez said, “has to be someone who falls in line with that vision, a subservient figurehead.”

Ellie Geranmayeh, an Iran expert with the European Council on Foreign Relations, also sees continuity on major foreign policy issues, including regional affairs and the nuclear program. “These files have been under the control of Iran’s supreme leader and the I.R.G.C.,” she said, referring to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, “with Raisi having little influence during his tenure as president.”

“Raisi was certainly useful to some I.R.G.C. factions,” Ms. Geranmayeh said. Unlike his predecessor, Hassan Rouhani, Mr. Raisi, a more conservative loyalist, “did not challenge the I.R.G.C. either on domestic or foreign policy issues,” she said.

But criticism of Mr. Raisi’s performance as president had already raised questions about whether he was the best candidate to succeed Ayatollah Khamenei, she said.

Mr. Raisi’s main rival was considered to be Ayatollah Khamenei’s son Mojtaba, 55, whose candidacy has been harmed by the aura of a monarchical succession.

Mojtaba Khamenei, center, the son of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in 2019. He is seen as a potential successor to his father.Credit…Saeid Zareian/DPA, via Associated Images

With previous supreme leaders arguing that hereditary rule under the shah was illegitimate, “they would be hard-pressed to sell hereditary leadership to the Iranian people now,” said Shay Khatiri, a senior fellow at the Yorktown Institute, a research institution focused on superpower competition.

Mr. Raisi’s death may give Mojtaba Khamenei an easier path to succeed his father. But the internal workings of Iran’s religious and domestic politics are deliberately mysterious, and the decision in the end will be made by a council of senior clerics known as the Assembly of Experts. Though Mojtaba Khamenei, himself a cleric, is considered to be a favorite of the clergy, the assembly may yet decide to pick one of their own or have more of a collective leadership.

His father, the supreme leader, had worked hard “to reduce the unpredictability within the system by grooming President Raisi to potentially be his successor, and now all of those plans are out of the window and they’re back to the drawing board,” Mr. Vaez said. “They have to organize an internal election” for the next supreme leader inside the system “at a time that the regime is facing a severe crisis of legitimacy at home.”

As for the public election for the next president, supposed to take place within 50 days, there are worries about public indifference.

The regime has become increasingly divorced from the population, Mr. Vaez and others said, by cracking down on public dissent, including on women protesting the Islamic dress code and a lack of freedoms.

By disqualifying “any candidate who is even a loyal critic of the system,” elections have become a farce, Mr. Vaez said. “The Islamic Republic has really focused on ideological conformity at the top rather than legitimacy from below.”

A photo provided by the Moj News Agency showing rescue team members carrying the body of a victim of the helicopter crash on Monday in northwest Iran. Credit…Azin Haghighi/Moj News Agency, via Associated Press

That has produced enormous political apathy, with fewer than 10 percent of voters in Tehran turning out for parliamentary runoff elections just 10 days ago. “All the government cares about now is a smooth transition to the next supreme leader,” Mr. Vaez said.

A new administration, Ms. Geranmayeh said, “will inherit a broken economy and an even more broken social contract with a population that has been deeply frustrated with the Islamic Republic.”

Externally, the challenges are steep as well. Iran and Israel attacked each other directly in April, even as Israel is already fighting Iran’s military proxies — Hamas in Gaza and, less vividly, Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran also sponsors the Houthis in Yemen, who have attacked shipping in the Red Sea.

Iran has worked to avoid a larger war between Hezbollah and Israel, and a direct conflict with Israel is also something the Islamic Republic can ill afford.

It has been holding intermittent talks with the United States on de-escalating the regional conflict and on the future of its nuclear program. The death of Mr. Raisi threatens to complicate those talks, too.

“While there will be no love lost in D.C. for Raisi, instability in Iran would come at a bad time,” said Trita Parsi, an Iran expert at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, making “escalation prevention all the more difficult.”

A missile defense system operating last month in Ashkelon, Israel, after Iran launched drones and missile strikes. Credit…Amir Cohen/Reuters

Since the collapse of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in 2018, when Donald J. Trump, then the president, pulled out of the arrangement, Iran has moved to enrich uranium very close to bomb grade, causing tensions, too, with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran has turned openly toward closer alignment with American rivals, especially Russia and China, which once supported the international effort to constrain Iran’s nuclear program but do so no longer.

Both countries have been buying Iran’s oil, despite international sanctions, helping to keep the Iranian economy barely afloat. Iran has been a crucial supporter of Russia’s war against Ukraine, selling it drones of all kinds as well as ballistic missiles in return for help with missile design, analysts say.

Increasingly, some Iranian officials speak of the program as a nuclear deterrent, even as the government insists that Iran’s program is purely civilian, and Ayatollah Khamenei has denied that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon.

The Revolutionary Guards Corps is considered increasingly powerful in both nuclear and regional affairs, taking advantage of Ayatollah Khamenei’s weakened health and the regime’s fear of internal instability. The larger question is whether the Revolutionary Guards, already a major economic player domestically, will become more openly powerful politically as well.

Nader Ibrahim

May 20, 2024, 9:04 a.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 9:04 a.m. ET

Video by the Turkish broadcaster Ahaber appears to show mangled debris from the helicopter crash site in a foggy and densely forested area of northwestern Iran. Iranian state media reported that the Bell 212 helicopter went down in a mountainous area on Sunday.

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Video filmed by a Turkish broadcaster appears to show the helicopter crash site where Iran’s president and foreign minister were killed.CreditCredit…Ahaber, via Reuters

Anton Troianovski

May 20, 2024, 8:13 a.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 8:13 a.m. ET

The Kremlin said President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia spoke by phone today with Mohammad Mokhber, Iran’s acting president. The Russian leader had a close relationship with Mokhber’s predecessor, with Iran a key source of weapons for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. The two had spoken by phone, by video link or in person at least 17 times in the last two years, according to the Kremlin’s website.

President Ebrahim Raisi at a news conference near the border between Iran and Azerbaijan on Sunday.Credit…EPA, via Shutterstock

After President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran was killed in a helicopter crash, Israeli officials quickly dismissed suggestions that they were behind his death, which Iranian state news media said was the result of “technical failure.”

Analysts said Monday that Israel, despite being one of Iran’s biggest foes, saw little strategic benefit from Mr. Raisi’s death and did not expect Iran to change its posture toward Israel as a result.

In Israel, Mr. Raisi was perceived as a weak figurehead who had little influence on Iran’s foreign policy, in particular its backing for Israel’s enemies across the Middle East. Israeli experts said that his replacement was expected to maintain Iran’s stance toward Israel, and that the real power in Tehran lay with the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

“From Israel’s point of view, I don’t see any achievement in his being replaced by some other radical conservative Iranian,” said Sima Shine, a former senior official in the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence agency, where she focused on Iran. “The president is not the most important person in Iran,” said Ms. Shine, now an analyst at the Institute for National Security Studies, a research group in Tel Aviv.

With or without Mr. Raisi, Israel still sees Iran as an existential threat, both because of its efforts to build a nuclear program as well as its support for groups that are hostile to Israel, including Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen.

To restrain Iranian influence, Israel has assassinated Iranian officials and targeted its nuclear and military facilities. In 2020, Israeli agents killed Iran’s top nuclear scientist using a remote-controlled gun. Earlier this year, an Israeli strike in Syria killed three senior Iranian military commanders, prompting Iran to respond with a huge barrage of ballistic and cruise missiles.

But Israel was unlikely to have killed Mr. Raisi, because he, unlike experienced scientists and generals, is ultimately so replaceable, according to Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian-Israeli professor who teaches Iranian studies at Reichman University in Israel.

The killing of a nuclear scientist might slow the progress of Iran’s nuclear program, but any Iranian president is likely to maintain the same antagonism toward Israel, he said.

“His absence or presence” would not have much of an impact either way, Professor Javedanfar said. “The same cannot be said of a nuclear scientist, working on a program that could produce a nuclear bomb to threaten Israel.”

He called Mr. Raisi “a foot soldier of the supreme leader,” and added: “He was a loyal servant, with little influence within the regime.”

President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran, right, meeting with President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan at the site of a dam on the Aras River between the two countries on Sunday.Credit…EPA, via Shutterstock

When he met his Iranian counterpart on Sunday, President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan told him that the day would “go down as a beautiful and bright chapter in the history of Iran-Azerbaijan relations.”

It would be one of the last meetings President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran had before he died.

That Mr. Raisi perished in a helicopter crash on his way back from a rare meeting with the president of Azerbaijan, Iran’s neighbor to the north, highlights the fragile geopolitical dynamics in Caucasus region that could be unsettled by his death.

Sunday’s meeting was the high point of an effort by both countries to patch up their relationship, which had been strained by an attack on the Azerbaijani Embassy in Tehran last year and by Azerbaijan’s increasingly close ties to Israel, Iran’s archenemy.

Those efforts could be dealt a setback by Mr. Raisi’s death, in part because Azerbaijan’s partnership with Israel might give rise to conspiracy theories blaming it, Zaur Shiriyev, an independent scholar based in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, said.

In Iran, “there will likely be attempts to blame external enemies,” Mr. Shiriyev said. “Such allegations could create new tensions in Baku-Tehran ties, which Baku would definitely like to avoid.”

Iranian state news media reported on Monday that the cause of the helicopter crash was a “technical failure.”

Israel is a key international partner for Azerbaijan, a predominantly Muslim, energy-rich former Soviet republic in the Caucasus Mountains. When Azerbaijan fought a 44-day war against its neighbor Armenia in 2020 to recapture a swath of territory known as Nagorno-Karabakh, Israel provided drones so crucial in the victory that Israeli flags were waved in the streets of Baku.

Amid Israel’s war in Gaza, Mr. Aliyev, Azerbaijan’s authoritarian leader, has sought to avoid taking sides. Azerbaijan’s state oil company, Socar, continues to export to Israel, drawing public protests in Turkey, Azerbaijan’s most important ally.

Azerbaijan’s relationship with Iran has been tense for years. Azerbaijan’s military victory over Armenia in 2020, and its closer ties to both Turkey and Israel, redrew the geopolitical map of the Caucasus, a volatile region where the interests of Russia, Turkey and Iran have long come into conflict. And early last year, Azerbaijan closed its embassy in Tehran after the deadly attack that Mr. Aliyev called a terrorist act.

But both sides have since tried to repair the relationship, and Azerbaijani officials have said they would not allow Israel to use their territory or airspace in the event of a war between Israel and Iran.

There are also economic incentives for the rapprochement. A railway project running partly through Azerbaijan will link Russia to Iranian seaports, out of reach of Western sanctions. Last fall, Azerbaijan and Iran jointly broke ground on a bridge that would connect the main part of Azerbaijan to its exclave of Nakhchivan. And when Mr. Raisi and Mr. Aliyev met on Sunday, at the border between the two countries, they were inaugurating a jointly built hydroelectric dam on the Aras River.

“Some may not like our meetings and our joint successes,” Mr. Raisi told Mr. Aliyev on Sunday, according to the Azerbaijani president’s office. “The main thing is that we have implemented together what is good for our countries, states and peoples.”

Cassandra Vinograd

May 20, 2024, 6:32 a.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 6:32 a.m. ET

The helicopter crashed due to a “technical failure,” the IRNA state news agency said in an English-language article paying tribute to Raisi. It appeared to be the first time the cause of the crash was indicated.

Credit…Wana News Agency, via Reuters
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s foreign minister, speaks during a U.N. Security Council meeting last month.Credit…Angela Weiss/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Hossein Amir Abdollahian was picked to be Iran’s foreign minister in 2021 by the president, Ebrahim Raisi, during a volatile time for Iran’s regional ties and for its relationship with the West.

Mr. Amir Abdollahian was a career diplomat and, like Mr. Raisi, a hard-liner. The two men died in a helicopter crash on Sunday in a mountainous region of northwestern Iran. Considered closely aligned with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Mr. Amir Abdollahian was also believed to have had a close relationship with Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the powerful leader of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, whom the U.S. killed in a drone strike in 2020.

Born in 1964, Mr. Amir Abdollahian held a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Tehran, according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

He was fluent in Arabic and his diplomatic experience focused on Iran’s relationships in the Middle East. He spent five years as deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs from 2011 to 2016 and three years as Iran’s ambassador to Bahrain from 2007 to 2010.

His tenure as foreign minister was starkly different to that of his predecessor, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the moderate, American-educated diplomat who helped broker the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers including the United States. Mr. Zarif made that deal in close collaboration with John F. Kerry, who served as secretary of state under President Barack Obama, and he was later heard on a leaked audiotape discussing a rivalry with General Suleimani.

After he was confirmed as foreign minister in 2021, Mr. Amir Abdollahian emphasized that Iran’s relationships with its neighbors would be a top priority, and he quickly took a tougher stance against the United States in talks about reviving the nuclear deal, which former President Donald J. Trump had abandoned.

Mr. Amir Abdollahian was also a key figure in the spillover from the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attacks, which prompted Israel to go to war in Gaza. Iran backs several armed groups in the Middle East, including Hamas, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen. Mr. Amir Abdollahian had been vocal about the threat of a broader conflict for months before Iran’s shadow war with Israel burst into the open in April, when Israel killed senior military leaders in a strike on an Iranian embassy complex in Syria and Iran fired a volley of drones and missiles at Israel in retaliation.

Mr. Amir Abdollahian repeatedly condemned the United States for backing Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. In an interview with The New York Times in November, he said, “If the U.S. continues its military, political and financial support of Israel and helps manage Israel’s military attacks on Palestinian civilians, then it must face its consequences.”

Mr. Amir Abdollahian’s deputy for political affairs, Ali Bagheri Kani, who on Monday was named “caretaker” of the Foreign Ministry, has been leading the Iranian delegations that have secretly and indirectly negotiated with the United States in Oman on at least three occasions over the past year. The talks addressed the Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea, the targeting of U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iran’s proxies, and a cease-fire in Gaza.

Farnaz Fassihi contributed reporting.

Leily Nikounazar

May 20, 2024, 5:56 a.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 5:56 a.m. ET

Pirhossein Kolivand, the head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, shared details about the search-and-rescue operation in an interview with a state broadcaster. He said the vast search area, heavy fog and darkness slowed the operation, which involved about 2,000 people, all of them Iranian. “After hours of searching, at about 5 a.m., the wreckage of the helicopter was seen by the rescuers from a distance of two kilometers,” Mr. Kolivand said. “It took 40 minutes to an hour to get there.”

A black flag was placed outside the Iranian consulate in Hyderabad, Pakistan, on Monday, following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi.Credit…Nadeem Khawer/EPA, via Shutterstock

Many world leaders shared condolences for Iran on Monday after the deaths of President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

Here is some of the reaction:

Russia: President Vladimir V. Putin sent a condolence letter to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, calling Mr. Raisi a “wonderful person” and a “true friend of Russia.” Mr. Putin said Mr. Raisi had made an invaluable personal contribution to deepening relations between the two countries. Mr. Putin has relied on Iran to provide drones for his war against Ukraine, and has strengthened ties with the Iranian government amid his standoff with the West.

India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “saddened and shocked” and that “India stands with Iran in this time of sorrow.” The two governments have been expanding trade ties, with India recently signing an agreement to develop a strategic Iranian port, despite the threat of American sanctions.

Pakistan: The nation declared a day of mourning out of solidarity with “brotherly Iran,” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif wrote on social media.

The European Union issued a statement expressing condolences and sending “its sympathies to the families of all the victims and to the Iranian citizens affected.”

China: A spokesman for Beijing’s Foreign Ministry said “the Chinese people have also lost a good friend.” and that China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, had extended condolences. He added that “China will continue to support the Iranian government and people” and was “willing to work with Iran to further deepen the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership.”

A poster of President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran being posted on a wall outside the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad on Monday.Credit…Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Iraq: The government of Iraq said it would observe a day of mourning as a sign of “solidarity with the feelings of sadness and pain.” Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq fought a brutal war with Iran in the 1980s. But the majority Shiite Arab country grew close with Tehran in the wake of the U.S. invasion, and its government is seen as under the influence of Iran. Iran also counts several Iraqi Shiite militias among its regional network of proxies.

Turkey: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wished “God’s mercy for my brother” Mr. Raisi, as well as for Mr. Abdollahian. “We will stand by our neighbor Iran in these difficult and distressing times, as we have done many times,” Mr. Erdogan said in a statement.

Egypt: President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi asked “Allah the Almighty to envelop President Raisi and the deceased with his mercy and grant solace and comfort to their families.” After years of frosty relations, Egypt and Iran had discussed renewing ties over the last year, though they had not appeared to make much progress by the time of Mr. Raisi’s death.

Lebanon: The country declared a three-day period of mourning, the NNA news agency reported, with flags to fly at half-mast.

South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa called Mr. Raisi “a remarkable leader of a nation with whom South Africa enjoys strong bilateral relations.” South Africa last year backed Iran’s admission to the BRICS group of developing nations, a multilateral organization that fashions itself as a competitor to international alliances dominated by the West.

Mujib Mashal, Gulsin Harman, Vivian Yee, Paul Sonne, Erika Solomon and Matina Stevis-Gridneff contributed reporting.

Cassandra Vinograd

May 20, 2024, 5:26 a.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 5:26 a.m. ET

With the death of the foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Iran’s Cabinet has appointed one of his deputies, Ali Bagheri Kani, as the ministry’s “caretaker,” the IRNA state news agency reported. Kani has served as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator and was involved in the 2023 deal that freed imprisoned Americans in exchange for several jailed Iranians and Iranian funds.

Credit…Alex Halada/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Mohammad Mokhber, who is acting president, had held senior positions in some of Iran’s most powerful conglomerates.Credit…Iranian Vice President’s Media Office

With the death of President Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, becomes acting president. Mr. Mokhber is a conservative political operative with a long history of involvement in large business conglomerates closely tied to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In a statement on Monday, Mr. Khamenei said that Mr. Mokhber must work with the heads of the legislature and judiciary to hold elections for a new president within 50 days.

Vice presidents in Iran are typically low profile, operating more as players within the government than as public figures.

“Iran’s vice presidents have traditionally not been contenders to succeed their bosses,” said Robin Wright, a joint fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Wilson Center in Washington. “The bigger question,” she added, “is who will the regime allow to run for the office.”

Mr. Mokhber is around 68 years old and became first vice president in August 2021. He is originally from Khuzestan Province in Iran’s southwest, bordering Iraq and the Persian Gulf. He was a deputy governor there, and during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s served as a member of the Revolutionary Guards medical corps.

One of Mr. Mokhber’s relatively few high-profile appearances came when he and three other senior Iranian officials went to Moscow in October 2022 to complete a sale of Iranian drones and ballistic missiles to Russia, for use in the war in Ukraine.

Mr. Raisi chose him as vice president after Mr. Mokhber held senior positions in some of Iran’s most powerful organizations, including the Mostazafan Foundation, Sina Bank and Setad, a conglomerate entirely controlled by Ayatollah Khamenei that has billions of dollars in assets and was involved — not entirely successfully — in efforts to make and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine.

All three organizations are part of an opaque network of financial entities that are tied to the Iranian state, although they are not directly state-owned. They are also connected to projects that are priorities for the supreme leader and his inner circle.

Mr. Mokhber’s involvement suggests that he has been a successful behind-the-scenes player who is familiar with the financing networks that are important to the official Iranian power structure.

The Mostazafan Foundation, where Mr. Mokhber worked in the early 2000s, is officially a charity but is described by the U.S. Treasury as “a key patronage network for the supreme leader” that includes holdings in key sectors of Iran’s economy, including finance, energy, construction and mining. It is the subject of sanctions by the U.S. Treasury because it is controlled by Mr. Khamenei, and the Treasury said it was created in part “to confiscate and manage property, including that originally belonging to religious minorities” in Iran, including Baha’is and Jews.

The Treasury says the foundation funnels some of its money to individuals and entities in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that have been involved in terrorism and human rights abuses.

The Sina Bank has faced sanctions by the U.S. Treasury and the European Union for financing Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile program.

Mr. Mokhber appears to have risen to the top of Iran’s political leadership in part because of the close relationship he developed with Iran’s supreme leader, dating from at least 2007 when he joined the leadership of Setad. Within a few months of his appointment to Setad, Mr. Mokhber had founded the Barakat Foundation, which has a number of companies under its aegis including a major Iranian medical and pharmaceutical company.

While his relationship with the supreme leader will be important while elections are being organized, analysts say that a much larger group of high-ranking officials around Mr. Khamenei will determine how this sensitive period in Iran will be handled.

“The regime is at a tipping point — politically, economically, and even militarily,” Ms. Wright said, noting Iran’s large-scale aerial attack on Israel last month that was nearly entirely intercepted, which she called “a humiliating failure.” Low turnout in parliamentary elections in March was also a sign of trouble for Iran’s theocracy, she added.

“It is very nervous about its future and the durability of its core ideology,” she said.

Leily Nikounazar contributed reporting.

Leily Nikounazar

May 20, 2024, 4:40 a.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 4:40 a.m. ET

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a statement offering his condolences and announcing five days of public mourning. He said that the first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, will take over managing the government in accordance with Iran’s Constitution. Mokhber must work with the heads of the legislature and judiciary to hold elections for a new president within 50 days, Khamenei said.

Farnaz Fassihi

May 20, 2024, 4:22 a.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 4:22 a.m. ET

Raisi’s political rivals, some of whom had vocally criticized his rule, issued statements of condolence, including the grandson of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. “The Islamic Republic of Iran has faced many very difficult situations since its inception and has overcome them,” said the grandson, Hassan Khomeini.

Farnaz Fassihi

May 20, 2024, 3:24 a.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 3:24 a.m. ET

The bodies of President Raisi and Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian, and those of the others on board the crashed helicopter, were being transferred by ambulance to the city of Tabriz on Monday morning, state television reported. The search and recovery operation has ended, according to the head of Iran’s Red Crescent Society.

Credit…Iranian Red Crescent, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Farnaz Fassihi

May 20, 2024, 1:44 a.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 1:44 a.m. ET

Iran will want to project a sense of control and order in the aftermath of President Raisi’s death, and to emphasize that early elections will happen in an orderly way. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said earlier in remarks about the crash that there would be “no disruption” to the work of the government. He also said that senior officials would remain in control of national security and border security.

Credit…Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times
Farnaz Fassihi

May 20, 2024, 1:25 a.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 1:25 a.m. ET

President Raisi’s cabinet held an emergency meeting on Monday, leaving his seat at the center of the conference table empty as a symbolic commemoration, photos published by the state news agency IRNA showed. The cabinet issued a statement praising his service to the country and to the Iranian people, and vowing to follow in his footsteps. Mr. Raisi and his conservative government were not popular among the majority of Iranians because they had reinstated oppressive social rules, violently cracked down on dissent and marginalized rival political factions.

Farnaz Fassihi

May 20, 2024, 1:09 a.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 1:09 a.m. ET

President Raisi’s death was announced from the podium of Iran’s most revered Shia shrine, the mausoleum of Imam Reza, in his hometown of Mashhad. A large crowd of government supporters had gathered there overnight to hold a prayer vigil. People broke into loud shrieks and wails when the announcement was made.

Farnaz Fassihi

May 20, 2024, 12:52 a.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 12:52 a.m. ET

IRNA, the government’s state news agency, also announced the death of President Raisi, the foreign minister and everyone else on board the helicopter. It said he had been “martyred in the line of service.”

Farnaz Fassihi

May 20, 2024, 12:38 a.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 12:38 a.m. ET

Tasnim News Agency, affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, published a statement saying that President Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian had been killed in the helicopter crash. It published a photo of Mr. Raisi with a headline that called him a martyr. Tasnim also said that the governor of East Azerbaijan Province, an Imam and two senior military officials who were in charge of Mr. Raisi’s security had died in the crash, along with the pilot and the co-pilot.

Farnaz Fassihi

May 20, 2024, 12:07 a.m. ET

May 20, 2024, 12:07 a.m. ET

Iranians are waking up to news that rescue teams have reached the site where the president’s helicopter crashed on Sunday. Officials and journalists at the site are telling the state news media that there is no sign of survivors. The government has not yet made an official statement announcing the death of the president, the foreign minister and others who were traveling on the helicopter.

Farnaz Fassihi

May 19, 2024, 11:58 p.m. ET

May 19, 2024, 11:58 p.m. ET

Initial photos and footage of the crash site posted on Iranian news sites showed debris and broken helicopter parts. In addition to the president and foreign minister, a cleric and the governor of the eastern province of Azerbaijan were among the officials on board the helicopter.

Credit…Iranian Red Crescent, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Farnaz Fassihi

May 19, 2024, 11:43 p.m. ET

May 19, 2024, 11:43 p.m. ET

“Finding the location of the helicopter and seeing the scene there is no sign of any of the passengers being alive,” the head of Iran’s Red Crescent Society, Pirhossien Koulivand, who was at the site, told state television.

Farnaz Fassihi

May 19, 2024, 4:50 p.m. ET

May 19, 2024, 4:50 p.m. ET

The head of Iran’s Red Crescent Society, Pirhossein Kolivand, told state TV that search and rescue teams have not located the site of the helicopter crash after more than 10 hours of looking, and have made no contact with anyone on board. Any rumors to the contrary were false, he said. Kolivand said rescuers were using their best guesses to set the search area and had no confirmation of the exact location of the missing helicopter.

Credit…Ali Hamed Haghdoust/Wana News Agency via Reuters
A man held an image of Qassim Suleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force, who was killed by an American drone strike in 2020, during an anti-Israel rally in Tehran last month.Credit…Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA, via Shutterstock

Even before the announcement on Monday that President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran had died in a helicopter crash, relations between Tehran and the United States had come perilously close to open conflict. What unfolds in the next few days — including what Iran declares was the cause of the crash — could well determine whether the two countries are able to grope their way out of several simultaneous crises.

Over the long term, the struggle that matters most is the one that centers on Iran’s nuclear program. The program had largely been contained after the Obama administration negotiated a nuclear deal with Iran in 2015. But President Donald J. Trump denounced and abandoned the deal six years ago, and eventually Iran resumed production of nuclear fuel — enriched to a level just short of what would be needed to produce several bombs.

Exactly what role Mr. Raisi played in critical decision-making in Tehran about Iran’s nuclear strategy was always a matter of dispute; the program is under the control of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in Iran, a power center unto itself. But American officials say that after nearly reaching an agreement with Iran through European intermediaries two years ago, efforts to negotiate have all but collapsed.

Just last week, the Iranian foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, who also died in the helicopter crash, met with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, who was demanding better access to Iran’s sprawling nuclear facilities.

The nuclear program, and the question of whether Iran will seek a weapon or leverage its status as a threshold power that could produce one quickly, looms over other, more regional confrontations. When Iran shot 300 missiles and drones at Israel last month, the United States coordinated with Israeli and other regional forces to take them down. But the whole exchange, which calmed after a relatively modest Israeli response, was a reminder that the country sharply expanded its missile program, and its reach, under Mr. Raisi — and is turning to techniques meant to overwhelm Israeli defenses, likely a lesson of the war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Iran is arming the Houthis — Shiite militants who have taken over most of northern Yemen and attacked shipping in the Red Sea — and providing them with intelligence from at least one Iranian ship. It is providing arms and technology to Hamas and Hezbollah, efforts that also expanded under Mr. Raisi’s rule. And U.S. officials warned recently that as the presidential election approaches, they expect an increase in Iranian hacking attempts.

“Iran is becoming increasingly aggressive in their efforts,” Avril D. Haines, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee last week. It seeks “to stoke discord and undermine confidence in our democratic institutions, as we have seen them do in prior election cycles.”

Farnaz Fassihi

May 19, 2024, 3:55 p.m. ET

May 19, 2024, 3:55 p.m. ET

Supporters of the government flocked to religious shrines for group prayers, and in Tehran’s Vali Asr square about 50 people held a vigil with a speaker urging national unity. But the government’s critics were far from sympathetic, with many on social media highlighting the brutality of Raisi’s leadership, including violent crackdowns on dissent during his time as judicial chief and president.

Credit…Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times
Inside a clothing store in Tehran, a television is set to a news channel reporting on the crash of the helicopter carrying the president of Iran. Credit…Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

The crash of a helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran could hardly have come at a more volatile time for the Islamic Republic.

Sunday’s episode left the fate of Mr. Raisi — who many analysts believed was being groomed to become Iran’s next supreme leader — uncertain against a backdrop of economic misery, widespread public discontent and geopolitical tensions that had pushed Israel and Iran to exchange rare direct attacks.

In the event of the president’s death, the vice president takes over and must organize an election within 50 days, said Ali Vaez, the Iran director of the International Crisis Group, an independent conflict prevention agency.

That, he said, would be “a major challenge for a country that is in the midst of a severe crisis of legitimacy at home and daggers drawn with Israel and the United States in the region.”

In the last two years the country has witnessed a domestic uprising, the Iranian currency plunging to a record low, water shortages intensified by climate change and the deadliest terrorist attack since the 1979 founding of the Islamic Republic.

Parliamentary elections in March showed just how serious that crisis of legitimacy had become for Iran’s ruling class after millions of Iranians boycotted the vote and a far-right faction made notable gains.

“That just shows how unpopular the Islamic Republic currently is at home,” Mr. Vaez said, describing “a deepening rift between the state and the society.”

The economy remains in shambles because of U.S. sanctions, mismanagement and corruption. Iran’s currency fell to a record low in late March, just as its people were celebrating the Persian New Year. Inflation in the country has been painfully high for years, often exceeding 30 percent.

Prospects for a return to a deal with the West to limit Iran’s nuclear program, which would bring sanctions relief, appear dim.

In 2022, the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of the country’s morality police ignited monthslong protests nationwide, led by women and girls who tossed off their head scarves in defiance and demanded an end to the Islamic Republic’s rule. The government responded with a violent crackdown — just as it did to quell protests in 2019.

And in January, two explosions in the city of Kerman killed more than 80 people and injured more than 200. The Islamic State, a declared enemy of Iran, claimed responsibility.

Attacks between Israel and Iran this spring were the latest development pushing the country to a boiling point — and were a departure from the shadow warfare the two countries have waged for decades, raising fears of a regional conflagration pulsing outward from Gaza.

Iran backs and helps arm Hamas, the Palestinian group that led the Oct. 7 assault on Israel, which responded with a bombing campaign and invasion of the Gaza Strip, killing more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to Gazan health authorities. Iran also supports armed groups around the region that have declared their solidarity in a battle against Israel, including Hezbollah in Lebanon and Yemen’s Houthi militia.

But analysts say that Iran is eager to avoid being dragged into all-out war.

In April, Iran responded to a deadly Israeli attack on its embassy compound in Damascus, Syria, by launching a barrage of more than 300 drones and missiles directly at Israel for the first time. Few of Iran’s drones and missiles found their targets — a fact that military experts and defense officials said was probably by design.

The crash also raises questions about who would become Iran’s supreme leader after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is 85, Mr. Vaez said. Mr. Raisi has been seen as a possible successor.

Mr. Vaez said that Mr. Raisi has been viewed as “predictable for the system — and that’s the reason he was chosen as president and was being groomed for the top job.”

Farnaz Fassihi contributed reporting.

Farnaz Fassihi

May 19, 2024, 3:15 p.m. ET

May 19, 2024, 3:15 p.m. ET

United Nations spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said that Secretary General António Guterres was closely following the news of the helicopter crash. “The secretary general is following reports of an incident with Iranian President Raisi’s aircraft with concern,” he said in a statement. “He hopes for the safety of the president and his entourage.”

Farnaz Fassihi

May 19, 2024, 3:03 p.m. ET

May 19, 2024, 3:03 p.m. ET

Ali Bahaador Jahromi, an Iranian government spokesman, wrote on social media late Sunday that there was no new information on what he called a “difficult and complicated situation.” He said the “geographical location of the accident and weather” had delayed updates on the crash.

Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani of Iraq has offered his country’s help in Iran’s search operations.Credit…Ahmed Jalil/EPA, via Shutterstock

A number of countries were quick to offer assistance to Iran to help with search and rescue operations after a helicopter carrying its president, Ebrahim Raisi, crashed on Sunday.

Turkey’s Ministry of Defense said it had dispatched a domestically produced combat drone and a Cougar helicopter with night vision compatibility to assist the search and rescue effort, at Iran’s request. A total of 32 rescuers and six vehicles were sent to aid in the search, with more on standby, according to the Turkish national emergency agency.

Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani of Iraq instructed his country’s interior ministry and other relevant parties to offer to help with the search for the missing helicopter, according to Bassem al-Awadi, a spokesman for the Iraqi government. The Iraqi Red Crescent Society, a humanitarian network, said it was preparing 10 search and rescue teams consisting of 50 people to assist.

The European Union activated its Copernicus satellite system to offer emergency mapping services to help Iranian officials gain better visibility of the area where the crash is believed to have occurred, according to the bloc’s chief for crisis management, Janez Lenarcic. He said the E.U. had done so after a request for assistance from Iran.

The foreign ministry of Saudi Arabia — a regional rival that re-established relations with Iran last year after a seven-year split — said that the kingdom “stands beside the brotherly Iranian Islamic Republic in these difficult circumstances and was prepared to offer any assistance Iranian authorities need.”

Iranian state television reported that Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, a close ally of Iran, had called and spoken to the country’s first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, and offered Russia’s help “in full capacity.” Mr. Mokhber told state television that Iran “appreciates Russia’s help.”

Farnaz Fassihi

May 19, 2024, 1:38 p.m. ET

May 19, 2024, 1:38 p.m. ET

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has given his first public statement about the crash. “We hope that benevolent God returns our dear and honorable president and all with him to the arms of the people,” he said. “Everyone must pray for the health of these public servants. The people of Iran must not be anxious or worried.”

Farnaz Fassihi

May 19, 2024, 1:38 p.m. ET

May 19, 2024, 1:38 p.m. ET

In an address carried live on state television, he said that all of the country’s security and governance will be handled by other officials and there will be no disruption to border security or national security.

Matina Stevis-Gridneff

May 19, 2024, 1:23 p.m. ET

May 19, 2024, 1:23 p.m. ET

The European Union has activated its Copernicus satellite system to offer emergency mapping services to help Iranian officials gain better visibility of the area where the crash is believed to have occurred, according to the bloc’s chief for crisis management, Janez Lenarcic. He said the E.U. had done so after a request for assistance by Iran.

Emma Bubola

May 19, 2024, 1:14 p.m. ET

May 19, 2024, 1:14 p.m. ET

Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan, had met with Raisi earlier today. He wrote on X that he was “profoundly troubled” to learn about the crash “after bidding a friendly farewell” to the Iranian president. Pakistan’s prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, said on X that he was “waiting with great anxiety for good news.”

Anushka Patil

May 19, 2024, 12:58 p.m. ET

May 19, 2024, 12:58 p.m. ET

The U.S. State Department said it was “closely following” reports of the crash but had no further comment.

David Botti

May 19, 2024, 12:56 p.m. ET

May 19, 2024, 12:56 p.m. ET

Videos posted to Instagram by the Iranian Red Crescent Society showed rescue teams earlier today trekking through fog and difficult terrain in search of the crash site.

Video

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CreditCredit…Iranian Red Crescent Society via Storyful

Adam Rasgon

May 19, 2024, 12:44 p.m. ET

May 19, 2024, 12:44 p.m. ET

Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani of Iraq has instructed his country’s interior ministry and other relevant parties to offer to help with the search for President Raisi’s helicopter, according to Bassem al-Awadi, a spokesman for the Iraqi government.

Farnaz Fassihi

May 19, 2024, 12:42 p.m. ET

May 19, 2024, 12:42 p.m. ET

State media reported that Brig. General Mohammad Bagheri, the head of the country’s Armed Forces, said the army and the Revolutionary Guards had been deployed to the area of the crash.

Farnaz Fassihi

May 19, 2024, 12:30 p.m. ET

May 19, 2024, 12:30 p.m. ET

Iran’s Red Crescent said it has lost contact with three members of the search and rescue teams because of bad weather and the thick fog, state television reported.

Emma Bubola

May 19, 2024, 12:05 p.m. ET

May 19, 2024, 12:05 p.m. ET

Before the crash, Raisi had attended a ceremony to open a joint dam project on Iran’s northwestern border, the IRNA state news agency reported. While there, he also expressed support for the Palestinian people. “The Palestine issue is the most important issue of the Islamic world,” he said, according to IRNA.

Farnaz Fassihi

May 19, 2024, 11:49 a.m. ET

May 19, 2024, 11:49 a.m. ET

Members of Iran’s Supreme National Security Committee and senior officials from the government have traveled to Tabriz, the closest major city to the site of the accident, state media reported.

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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, and other officials died in a helicopter crash Sunday near Iran’s northern border with Azerbaijan, Iranian state media said Monday morning.

The helicopter was part of a convoy of three helicopters returning from an event inaugurating a joint dam project when it crashed in heavy fog in a remote area on Sunday. The fog and rugged terrain hindered search operations. All eight bodies on board were found on Monday.

Raisi’s death comes during heightened international tensions and increased speculation over who will eventually replace Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Raisi was widely considered a potential successor.

Iran
In this photo released by the Iranian first Vice-President Office, Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, right, now acting President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, leads a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, Monday, May 20, 2024. Mokhber was appointed as acting president of the Islamic Republic on Monday after the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in the country’s northwest. (Iranian First Vice-President Office via AP)

ABC contributor Col. Steve Ganyard, a former fighter pilot and a former State Department official, analyzed the crash – and the political repercussions inside Iran and elsewhere – Monday morning with “Start Here.”

START HERE: What do we know about this incident so far?

GANYARD: It seems to be a fairly classic mishap that occurs when helicopter pilots try to skirt underneath weather in very mountainous terrain. So we know that there was a lot of fog in the area. We know that they had dignitaries, very important people, which oftentimes puts an extra, at least mental burden on the pilots to make sure that they get to get to the destination. And when you’re flying in the mountains and you have very low visibility, there’s a natural tendency for helicopter pilots to begin to sort of descend and try to get lower and try to get underneath either the fog or the cloud layer. And they know that they can set the aircraft down if they need to. But oftentimes it leads to tragedy. If you remember, earlier this year, back in February, a marine Corps helicopter was trying to do this very thing, trying to get back to San Diego and in the mountains above San Diego, just to the to the east of San Diego, crashed. And unfortunately, all the Marines on board lost their lives.

START HERE: So we’re looking at an area with dense forest, a lot of rain and fog. The Iranian government saying that they dispatched rescue teams. But we’re not getting a lot of information from them. Is that typical with the Iranian state government?

China Iran
Residents watch a large screen showing a footage of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, during the evening news broadcast on his death, at an outdoor shopping mall in Beijing, Monday, May 20, 2024. Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed deep condolences on Monday over the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, according to the Foreign Ministry. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

GANYARD: It is when you have when you have a mishap that involves very senior people. Obviously, this is the president of the country. He’s not the most important guy – Ayatollah Khamenei remains the most important person in terms of the leadership there in Iran. But this is still a very important, very public figure. He is in many ways the elected face of Iran to the rest of the world. And you had the foreign minister. So, interestingly, you had two of the people who are most responsible for the trouble that Iran has been causing in the region. They are, as we know, key supporters of the Houthis, key supporters of Hamas and key supporters of Hezbollah. And so, all of the region’s woes and all of the instability are at least directed in some way, influenced by two of the people that were on that helicopter.

START HERE: Well, and you were kind of alluding to this, the politics there, could this crash change the dynamic and how the U.S. views Tehran, or would you expect that Raisi’s hardline government is going to continue no matter what happens?

GANYARD: Well, Raisi is the most senior elected official in Iran, and his foreign ministers are very public foreign ministers. He is the face of the relations with the rest of the of the world, in particular the rest of the region. But it doesn’t really affect the politics within Iran. The ayatollahs still control all of the power within Iran. But none of the true power rests with the president. It still rests with the mullahs. It still rests with the Ayatollah Khamenei.

START HERE: Well, and I realize, Steve, there are a lot of unknown about what actually caused this crash. Weather obviously is looking to be the primary culprit. But there will be people wondering if Israel could have had a hand in this in any way. Is that something that’s even possible?

GANYARD: It’s possible. You never know. The Israelis have done some amazing operations inside Iran. But we also know that weather was a key problem here, and the fact that there were two other helicopters with the president’s helicopter who were able to land, but they lost sight of the president’s helicopter – it would suggest that it was probably weather related. But at this point, we’ll just have to wait and see. Obviously, the Iranians are never going to admit it if the Israelis did have a hand, and the Israelis probably in this case would not claim responsibility.

START HERE: And Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer saying that U.S. intelligence right now, pointing to that Israel was not behind this. So I want to make that clear. Steve, thanks so much for joining us.

The death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in northern Iran has shaken the world and led to wide speculation about the circumstances.

The helicopter transporting Raisi, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Tabriz Friday prayers leader Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, East Azerbaijan Governor General Malek Rahmati and an unspecified number of guards went down Sunday in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province following a trip to the neighboring country of Azerbaijan.

Search teams spent the day combing the area amid thick fog and icy weather before a drone on early Monday identified a thermal signal thought to be the wrecked aircraft. No survivors were found, and Raisi’s death was confirmed shortly afterward.

Ebrahim Raisi

The late Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, speaks during Russian-Iranian talks at the Grand Kremlin Palace on December 7, 2023, in Moscow. Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash in northern Iran on Sunday. The late Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, speaks during Russian-Iranian talks at the Grand Kremlin Palace on December 7, 2023, in Moscow. Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash in northern Iran on Sunday. Contributor/Getty Images

Rumors surrounding the president’s death have begun their inevitable spread online, including unfounded allegations about the circumstances leading to the crash. Also, fingers have been pointed in terms of who might be responsible but without any evidence or support.

Here is what is known so far.

What Caused the Crash?

Iranian officials have not yet said what caused the crash, according to the Associated Press, although bad weather may have played a role. Thick fog was present when the helicopter crashed and during the search efforts.

During the initial search for the crash site, Pir-Hossein Koulivand, president of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, said that its 40 search teams were working despite “challenging weather conditions” and that it was “impossible” to conduct drone-assisted aerial searches.

Eventually, drones were able to find a fire that led to the wreckage, about 12 miles south of the Azerbaijan-Iranian border.

It was initially unclear if Raisi and the others on board had survived the crash. However, search and rescue crews that reached the site on Monday confirmed there were no survivors, state media reported.

Footage sourced from the Fars News Agency and the Red Cross showed what appeared to be the helicopter crash site, including the vehicle’s tail in a wooded area.

Following the news, social media was awash with theories about Israel’s involvement but with no credible evidence beyond the current tensions between the two nations.

While an official statement has not yet been released, an Israeli official told Reuters that Israel had nothing to do with the crash, saying, “It wasn’t us.”

Speaking to ABC Australia, Adel Abdel Ghafar, director of foreign policy and security at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, said it was unlikely that Israel would have “attempted such a move like this.”

“This would be a direct act of war likely to provoke a severe response from Iran, and Israel’s strategy has always been attacking Iran covertly, militarily and so on. And military targets rather than political leaders,” he said.

“But if there is some sort of external power,” Ghafar added, “then this tinderbox can potentially explode.”

Elsewhere on social media, some users have claimed that the U.S. “believes” that Raisi was assassinated. This is not supported by evidence and appears to be merely engagement farming, a technique commonly used on social media in the wake of global news events to attract viewers or audiences to a channel, even with unsupported or phony claims.

Newsweek has contacted the White House and the Iranian mission to the United Nations via email for comment.

At this point, with the helicopter discovered less than 24 hours ago, there has been no confirmation of what caused the crash. While poor weather may have played a part, the circumstances are still under investigation.

Who Was Ebrahim Raisi?

Raisi, a former judiciary chief, was elected president in June 2021 and was poised to stand for reelection for a second four-year term next year. His victory marked a major win for Iran’s conservative elite, which has increasingly consolidated power in recent years, enhancing the influence of the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Following Raisi’s death, Iranian Vice President Muhammad Mukhbar becomes acting president with the approval of Khamenei, according to Article 131 of the Iranian Constitution. New elections will be held within 50 days.

During Raisi’s tenure, there have been outbreaks of domestic unrest, including a series of nationwide protests that began in September 2022 after the death of a young woman who was in police custody for not adhering to the country’s mandatory headscarf laws for women. In addition, insurgent organizations have struck within the country, with the Islamic State militant group claiming responsibility in January for the deadliest attack in the Islamic Republic’s 45-year history as ISIS seeks to achieve a global resurgence.

In an address delivered as the search and rescue effort for Raisi and his entourage was underway on Sunday, Khamenei said that “the nation doesn’t need to be worried or anxious, as the administration of the country will not be disrupted at all.”

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Peter Beaumont

Peter Beaumont

Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, who is missing in Iran’s mountains after a helicopter crash near the border with Azerbaijan, is a hardliner who was instrumental in the last few years in steering Iran back towards the more uncompromising beliefs of the Islamic Republic’s revolutionary founders.

A supporter of deeply conservative values on the domestic front, in terms of foreign policy Raisi also carved out an increasingly aggressive stance, and it was on his watch that Tehran opted to launch its recent unprecedented missile and drone strike against Israel bringing the two countries into direct and open conflict for the first time.

While he was elected president in June 2021, having represented himself as the best person to fight corruption and Iran’s economic problems, Raisi had long occupied important positions in Iran, including an allegedkey role in the so-called Death Committee responsible for executing thousands of prisoners in the 1980s, a claim he has denied.

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Turkey is sending search and rescue equipment to help find the Iranian president and foreign minister.

A night vision search and rescue helicopter, 32 personnel and six vehicles have been sent to the country, the country’s disaster agency said.

A further 15 rescuers have been placed on alert in case they are needed, it added.

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In this photo provided by Moj News Agency, rescue teams' vehicles are seen near the site of the incident of the helicopter carrying Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi in Varzaghan in northwestern Iran.

In this photo provided by Moj News Agency, rescue teams’ vehicles are seen near the site of the incident of the helicopter carrying Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi in Varzaghan in northwestern Iran. Photograph: Azin Haghighi/APShare

Iran’s Red Crescent humanitarian movement has denied the state TV report about the crashed helicopter being found.

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The Turkish foreign ministry said it was following developments in Sunday’s Iran helicopter accident with sadness and hoping for the president’s wellbeing, adding that action had been taken to provide all kinds of support to search and rescue activities.

“We hope that the Iranian officials, including Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian are safe and healthy,” it said in a statement.

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The helicopter that crashed has been found by search teams, Iranian state TV reported. There is no update yet on the condition of those onboard.

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Qatar is ready to provide “all forms of support” for Iran’s search efforts, the Qatari foreign ministry said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia and Russia have also released statements offering similar support.

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Janez Lenarčič, the European Commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, said the EU is activating its Copernicus emergency mapping service in response to an Iranian request for assistance.

Upon Iranian request for assistance we are activating the 🇪🇺’s @CopernicusEMS rapid response 📡 mapping service in view of to the helicopter accident reportedly carrying the President of #Iran and its foreign minister. #EUSolidarity

— Janez Lenarčič (@JanezLenarcic) May 19, 2024

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Contact has been made with one passenger and one crew member who were on the helicopter, an unnamed Iranian official told state TV.

The official said contact has been made on several occasions.

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Rescue teams work following a crash of a helicopter carrying Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, in Varzaqan, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran.

Rescue teams work following a crash of a helicopter carrying Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, in Varzaqan, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran. Photograph: Azin Haghighi/Reuters

Rescue vehicles are seen following a crash of a helicopter carrying Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi on Sunday.

Rescue vehicles are seen following a crash of a helicopter carrying Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi on Sunday. Photograph: Azin Haghighi/ReutersShare

Rescuers have not yet reached the crash site of a helicopter carrying Iran’s president and foreign minister and are “experiencing difficult and complicated conditions”, an Iranian government spokesperson said.

In a post on X, Ali Bahadori Jahromi said there was still no update on Ebrahim Raisi and Hossein Amirabdollahian condition.

“It is the right of the people and the media to be aware of the latest news about the president’s helicopter accident, but according to the coordinates of the accident site and the weather conditions, there is “no” new news until now,” Jahromi added.

“In these moments, patience, prayer, and trust in relief groups are the way forward.”

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Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the nation “should pray” for Raisi’s health, state broadcaster IRIB reported.

“If the people of Iran do not worry, there will be no disruption in the work of the country”, he added.

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“We are closely following reports of a possible hard landing of a helicopter in Iran carrying the Iranian president and foreign minister,” a US state department spokesperson said in a statement.

A spokesperson for President Biden, Karine Jean-Pierre, told reporters aboard Air Force One that the president had been briefed on the situation.

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The president of Azerbaijan said he was “seriously worried” after hearing about Ebrahim Raisi’s helicopter crash.

Ilham Aliyev had met the Iranian president earlier today for the inauguration of a dam in Azerbaijan.

“Today, after meeting with the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ibrahim Raisi we were seriously worried by the news that the helicopter carrying the high delegation made an emergency landing in Iran,” he posted on X.

“Our prayers to almighty God are with President Ibrahim Raisi and his accompanying delegation.”

He added Azerbaijan was ready to provide any necessary support to Iran.

Today, after bidding a friendly farewell to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, we were profoundly troubled by the news of a helicopter carrying the top delegation crash-landing in Iran. Our prayers to Allah Almighty are with President Ebrahim Raisi and…

— Ilham Aliyev (@presidentaz) May 19, 2024

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  • Rescuers in Iran are trying to reach a helicopter which had a “hard landing”, state media reported, while traveling with an entourage including the Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi. The incident, which involved one helicopter in a convoy of three, was reported by Iranian state television on Sunday, which described it as an accident.

  • An unnamed Iranian official told Reuters that the lives of the president and his foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, were “at risk” following a “crash” as it was crossing mountain terrain in heavy fog.

  • The Red Crescent humanitarian movement had reported three of its workers were missing but later said they were accounted for. The search teams are close to the where the helicopter may have crashed, the BBC reported. The Red Crescent spokesperson added the search and rescue operation will slow down as the weather is expected to get “severely cold” soon with more rain forecast.

  • Raisi was traveling in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, with state TV describing the area of the helicopter incident as being near Jolfa, a city on the border with Azerbaijan. The president had been in Azerbaijan earlier on Sunday to inaugurate a dam with Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev. The dam is the third one that the two nations have built on the Aras river.

  • All army resources will be utilised for the search and rescue operations Iranian’s army chief of staff said, state TV reported. Major general Mohammad Bagheri has also ordered guards to take part in the search efforts, it said.

  • Iraq has instructed its interior ministry, the Red Crescent and other relevant bodies to offer help to neighbouring Iran and assist in the search.

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The Red Crescent humanitarian movement had said that three of its workers were missing but later said they were accounted for.

The search teams are close to the where the helicopter may have crashed, the BBC reported.

The Red Crescent spokesperson added the search and rescue operation will slow down as the weather is expected to get “severely cold” soon with more rain forecast.

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Iraq has instructed its interior ministry, the Red Crescent and other relevant bodies to offer help to neighbouring Iran and assist in the search after the Iranian president’s helicopter crashed in mountainous terrain, the Iraqi government said in a statement.

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A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been involved in an accident, with rescuers struggling to reach the scene

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been involved in an accident, with rescuers struggling to reach the scene (AP)

Breaking News

helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been involved in an accident, with rescuers struggling to reach the scene.

Iran’s interior minister Ahmed Vahidi confirmed to state TV that one of the helicopters in a convoy carrying President Raisi, 63, had a rough landing on Sunday, adding that rescue teams are being hampered by difficult weather conditions.

The incident happened near Jolfa, a city on the border with the nation of Azerbaijan, some 600 kilometers (375 miles) northwest of the Iranian capital, Tehran, according to state TV.

President Raisi was travelling in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province with Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province and other officials, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.

Neither IRNA nor state TV immediately offered any information on President Raisi’s condition.

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.

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A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been involved in an accident, with rescuers struggling to reach the scene.

Iran’s interior minister Ahmed Vahidi confirmed to state TV that one of the helicopters in a convoy carrying President Raisi, 63, had a rough landing on Sunday, adding that rescue teams are being hampered by difficult weather conditions.

The incident happened near Jolfa, a city on the border with the nation of Azerbaijan, some 600 kilometers (375 miles) northwest of the Iranian capital, Tehran, according to State TV.

Alexander Butler19 May 2024 15:13
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Raisi, 63, is a hard-liner who formerly led the country’s judiciary. He is viewed as a protege 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.

He has been in power since 2021 when he won the country’s last presidential election, which saw the lowest voter turnout in the Islamic Republic’s history.

He currently is subject to US sanctions over his involvement in the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi is viewed as a protege of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Iranian Presidency/AFP via Getty)
Alexander Butler19 May 2024 15:24
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Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi meets with Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev, after which his helicopter has reportedly crashed near the city of Jolfa (Office of the President of the Iran)
Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi visits the site of a proposed road and rail bridge project over the Aras River just before his helicopter was involved in an accident (Office of the President of the Iran)
Alexander Butler19 May 2024 15:20

NEWS 19 May 2024
12:00

NEWS Meetings 19 May 2024
11:00

Presidents of Azerbaijan and Iran met in the presence of delegations

Presidents of Azerbaijan and Iran met in the presence of delegations 19 May 2024, 11:00

NEWS Events 19 May 2024
10:55

Ilham Aliyev and President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi met at the Azerbaijan-Iran state border

Ilham Aliyev and President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi met at the Azerbaijan-Iran state border 19 May 2024, 10:55

NEWS Events 18 May 2024
15:30

Ilham Aliyev laid a foundation stone for the internal road and communication network of the city of Zangilan

Ilham Aliyev laid a foundation stone for the internal road and communication network of the city of Zangilan 18 May 2024, 15:30

NEWS Events 18 May 2024
15:25

Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attended inauguration of Zangilan Mosque

Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attended inauguration of Zangilan Mosque 18 May 2024, 15:25

NEWS Events 18 May 2024
15:10

Ilham Aliyev inaugurated Zangilan and Shayifli hydroelectric power plants

Ilham Aliyev inaugurated Zangilan and Shayifli hydroelectric power plants 18 May 2024, 15:10

NEWS Events 18 May 2024
14:34

Ilham Aliyev laid foundation stone for Minjivan settlement in Zangilan district

Ilham Aliyev laid foundation stone for Minjivan settlement in Zangilan district 18 May 2024, 14:34

NEWS Events 18 May 2024
14:10

Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva participated in opening of Aghali hotel in Zangilan district

Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva participated in opening of Aghali hotel in Zangilan district 18 May 2024, 14:10

NEWS Events 18 May 2024
13:20

Ilham Aliyev laid foundation stone for village of Mashanli in Jabrayil district

Ilham Aliyev laid foundation stone for village of Mashanli in Jabrayil district 18 May 2024, 13:20

NEWS Events 18 May 2024
13:18

Ilham Aliyev laid foundation stone for Sarijalli village in Jabrayil district

Ilham Aliyev laid foundation stone for Sarijalli village in Jabrayil district 18 May 2024, 13:18

NEWS Events 18 May 2024
13:17

Ilham Aliyev attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the village of Karkhulu in Jabrayil district

Ilham Aliyev attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the village of Karkhulu in Jabrayil district 18 May 2024, 13:17

NEWS Events 18 May 2024
13:16

Ilham Aliyev laid foundation stone for Boyuk Marjanli village in Jabrayil district

Ilham Aliyev laid foundation stone for Boyuk Marjanli village in Jabrayil district 18 May 2024, 13:16

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Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, met on May 19 at the state border between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Islamic Republic of Iran, Azernews reports.

The heads of state had a conversation held in a sincere atmosphere.

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

Helicopter carrying Iran's president Ebrahim Raisi involved in 'hard landing' - state media. Pic: IRNA

Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, held a meeting on May 19 at the state border between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Islamic Republic of Iran.

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Jabrayil, May 19, AZERTAC

Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, held a meeting in the presence of the delegations on May 19 at the state border between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Islamic Republic of Iran.

Greeting the Azerbaijani leader, President of Iran Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi said: In the name of Allah. Mr. President, I am very happy that we are meeting with the honorable President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, again and reviewing our joint discussions. It is a great happiness that this meeting is taking place in this location. A major project has been implemented here, and it is a very successful meeting for the two peoples. We will inaugurate a project the commissioning of which is of great importance for the two peoples and two states. This in itself is a significant event that very important projects can be implemented between two peoples and two states. Some may not like our meetings and our joint successes. This is important to us. The main thing is that we have implemented together what is good for our countries, states and peoples.

x x x

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said: Dear Mr. President, I believe that today’s meeting and ceremony will go down as a beautiful and bright chapter in the history of Iran-Azerbaijan relations because the project we will open today is very important from the technical point of view, and at the same time, it will bring the two peoples and the two states even closer together. Of course, the joint success of our people makes our friends happy, and those who don’t like it, I think it would be better if they minded their own business. The main thing is that the states of Iran and Azerbaijan show a very strong joint political will today, openly declare to their people and the whole world that we are together and will continue to be together. Iran-Azerbaijan relations are an important condition for stability in our region. Of course, such a wonderful project will improve the well-being of our people and increase jobs, thus, becoming the next step towards success. I am sure that there will be many similar joint projects in the future.

Demoted Shoigu suffers fresh humiliation in China

posted on May 18 2024 22:16:40 UTC via newsweek.com

Days after his removal from the defense minister post he held for over a decade, Sergei Shoigu faced a delayed entry into a Chinese government building because its security staff were not happy with his pass, it has been reported.

Shoigu had helped spearhead Vladimir Putin‘s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in the role he had since 2012 before his boss surprised many by replacing him on Sunday May 12 with Andrei Belousov, an economist with little military experience.

Shoigu in turn has been appointed secretary of Russia’s Security Council and while still a big job, it is seen by many as a demotion from the high-profile role he held as one of the faces of the war that Putin started.

But being in a delegation of officials accompanying Putin on a state visit to China where the Russian leader held talks with his ally Xi Jinping on Thursday was not enough for Shoigu to get automatic access to the seat of Chinese political power, according to the Russian newspaper Kommersant.

Russian Security Council Secretary Sergei Shoigu

Russian Security Council Secretary Sergei Shoigu at the Kremlin in Moscow on May 15, 2024. The former defense minister was denied entry into the Chinese parliament, according to a Russian media report. Russian Security Council Secretary Sergei Shoigu at the Kremlin in Moscow on May 15, 2024. The former defense minister was denied entry into the Chinese parliament, according to a Russian media report. Vyacheslav Prokofyev/Getty Images

The newspaper’s special correspondent Andrei Kolesnikov said that the trip’s organizers were not satisfied with Shoigu’s pass granting entry to the building.

“They did not want to let Mr Shoigu into the House of the People’s Assembly at all,” Kolsenikov wrote. “The organizers were not satisfied with something.

“The Secretary of the Security Council had to wait more than one or two minutes before the issue was finally resolved in his favor,” the journalist wrote, adding that as he stood “at least 10 colleagues” were allowed in.

When Shoigu was eventually admitted, he participated in the talks sitting to the left of Putin, while foreign minister Sergei Lavrov sat on the president’s right, Kolesnikov said.

Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told Russian state media that this was the most important meeting of the trip, but Kolesnikov noted in his piece Shoigu “was not at the enlarged meeting at all. Does this mean something significant?”

Newsweek has contacted the Russian defense ministry for comment.

Following his inauguration for a fifth term as president, Putin’s move to appoint a new defense minister sparked speculation that he wanted to align the country’s economy more closely with the war effort.

Independent Russian news outlet The Bell said that Putin’s decision to replace Shoigu for Belousov was “highly symbolic” and showed that defense-related spending is the top priority. “The Kremlin is gambling on a war of attrition, and this sort of war is won just as much by economic managers as soldiers,” The Bell said.

Shoigu has taken over the role of former director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Nikolai Patrushev whom Putin has appointed as a Kremlin aide.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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North Korea is preparing for nuclear war by intensively building up its strategic deterrent. It is obliged to do this by the recent situation in the sphere of global security.
According to the local news agency KCNA, this statement was made by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during a visit to the North Korean defense industry enterprise, which is considered the leading one.
“Kim Jong-un noted that the need to build up overwhelming forces to deter nuclear war will have to be even more seriously recognized in response to the state security situation that has arisen due to the reckless machinations of military confrontation on the part of enemies”, – said in a media report.
According to the North Korean leader, Pyongyang needs to prepare for a nuclear war so that the enemy does not dare to play with fire. He believes that, having made sure of the full combat readiness of the North Korean Armed Forces, the enemy will fear a direct military clash with them. Kim Jong-un notes that nuclear weapon is an effective deterrent to war.
During his visit to the defense enterprise, the North Korean leader carefully examined its production activities.

… 

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