The helicopter carrying Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi crashed on the border of Azerbaijan. Massive rescue operation

A convoy of three helicopters carrying Ibrahim Raisi was surprised by dense fog near the Azerbaijan border near the city of Tabriz. An Iranian-made helicopter carrying the head of state made an emergency landing. Some sources talk about a possible collapse.

Rescue teams are trying to search for him with all-terrain vehicles as helicopters are not allowed to fly in the area due to dense fog. In the north of the country, in East Azerbaijan province, hundreds of people are fighting to find the president.

Ibrahim Raisi’s health is critical. Prayers for him were broadcast on local television. The Iranian president made a diplomatic visit to Azerbaijan, inaugurating a ship with officials from Baku. This dam is the third dam jointly built by the two countries.

Update: The search for Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi was called off amid bad weather and darkness. All the while, security forces were deployed across the capital Tehran for fear of demonstrations.

According to Al Jazeera, emergency services spokesman Babak Yektabarast says the dark aerial searches have become impossible.

“Unfortunately, flight operations cannot be continued due to heavy fog over the entire region,” He said, several ambulances have been dispatched.

But the official insisted that air ambulances were ready in Tabriz and Tehran. All the while, security forces were deployed across the capital Tehran for fear of demonstrations.

Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey and Azerbaijan expressed their support to help Iran. Military investigative teams have been dispatched to the crash site of the Iranian president’s helicopter, MediaFox reported.

Update: Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mohammad Bagheri has ordered all equipment and capabilities of the army, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and law enforcement to find the crashed helicopter carrying the president.

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“All the armed forces, army, IRGC and police commands were in the area from the first hour”He said, as quoted by Tasnim news agency.

A spokesman for the Red Cross in Iran said the weather in the area was “extremely bad” and that 3 workers from the Red Cross in Iran were also missing, MediaFox reported.

Update: Iranian journalist Farid Modaresi reported that President Ibrahim Raisi was seriously injured after his helicopter crashed, the first confirmation of involvement.

“According to my reliable sources, repeatedly emphasizing that their news is true, they informed me: His Excellency President Ibrahim Raisi recently suffered serious and very serious bodily injuries in a helicopter crash that was carrying him and his companions. My companions died, but Foreign Minister Amir Abdolhian and Imam of Tabriz Al I still don’t know about the situation with Hashem and Governor Rahmati of East Azerbaijan.”, according to MediaFox, was posted by Iranian journalist Farid Modarresi in an Arabic newspaper. Meanwhile, rescue operations are ongoing.

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Update: About 40 rescue teams have been dispatched to the area, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross said. The weather is unfavorable and progress is difficult, but rescue workers are making every effort to pinpoint the Iranian president’s position, IRNA reported. Also, the Iranian agency reported, citing local witnesses, that the helicopter carrying Ibrahim Raisi crashed between the villages of Uzi and Bir Daoud in the Iranian province of East Azerbaijan.

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Iranian state television says the helicopter carrying President Ibrahim Raisi made a “hard landing”. There were no immediate details on what happened to the helicopter. Semi-official press organizations offered various explanations for what was happening. Footage taken in Mashhad, Iran’s second largest city, shows worshipers praying for Ibrahim Raisi.

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According to the Islamic Republic’s news agency IRNA, the crash occurred when the helicopter was making a landing hampered by weather and fog. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdullahian and the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan region accompanied President Raisi by helicopter, IRNA reported.

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Ibrahim Raisi inaugurated a dam in Azerbaijan early Sunday morning together with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. This is the third dam jointly built by the two countries on Aras River, they said News.ro.

Ibrahim Raisi, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s bodyguard

Iran uses a variety of helicopters domestically, but international sanctions make it difficult to obtain spare parts for them. Its military air force largely predates the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Raisi, 63, is a tough figure who previously led the country’s judiciary. He is considered a protégé of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and some analysts have suggested he could replace the 85-year-old leader after his death or resignation.

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Who can rule Iran without Ibrahim Raisi?

If Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi dies, he will take over as vice president, with the Supreme Leader’s approval, Al Jazeera writes.

Iran’s constitution stipulates that in the event of the death of the Iranian president, the first vice president – now Mohammad Moghar – will assume the presidency with the approval of the Supreme Leader.

According to the Iranian political hierarchy, the head of the country is Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and the president is considered the head of government, second in command. If the second president dies, the first vice president takes over, and the country must go to an election to choose a new president in 50 days.

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