Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Dead in Helicopter Crash, State Media Reports

World leaders unite in response to Iranian tragedy.

by Nouman Rasool
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Dead in Helicopter Crash, State Media Reports
© Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran via Getty Images

In a devastating turn of events, Iranian state media reported on Monday that the country's newly elected president, Ebrahim Raisi, had been confirmed dead following a helicopter crash. Also lost in the ill-fated crash under harsh weather conditions were the lives of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, among other officials on board, marking a somber day for the country and international diplomatic circles.

The incident unfolded on Sunday when the helicopter, carrying President Raisi and his delegation, encountered dense fog, leading to what was initially described as a "hard landing" by the head of Iran's Red Crescent, Hossein Kolivand.

Despite immediate search and rescue efforts, Kolivand later relayed the grim reality: "There is no sign of life." The helicopter was located in the mountainous region of Tawal, where two heat signatures were detected by a Turkish drone aiding the search operations.

Iranian state news agency, IRNA, detailed the extensive rescue operations, noting that 73 teams were deployed in the challenging search across foggy and rainy terrains. Among these, 23 Red Crescent teams equipped with detector dogs were dispatched from Tehran and nearby provinces, emphasizing the urgent nature of the rescue mission.

Global Leaders Respond

The international community has responded swiftly, with U.S. President Joe Biden being briefed on the situation, according to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. Aside from this, the State Department has been closely monitoring the incident, and different world leaders have voiced their messages of condolences and offers of help.

In fact, Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended a great deal of help to the existing search by sending in 50 rescuers, two planes, and one helicopter. This very bitter incident also saw a grand gesture of support and solidarity from Azerbaijan when President Ilham Aliyev expressed his support for this matter.

Aliyev said in a statement released on his social media account that such an act just brings the two peoples closer, and that came especially after President Raisi had visited the opening of two major dams in Azerbaijan. The loss of President Raisi to Iran is tragic not only politically but in the hearts and emotions of very many Iranians and people following global events.

As the country mourns, all eyes remain fixed on the step-by-step efforts by rescue teams and hopeful collective searches for more clarity on what has been a tragic event.