The Associated Press (“AP News”) reports that a helicopter transporting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and East Azerbaijan’s Governor Malik Rahmati, crashed this morning (5/19/2024) in a mountainous region of northwest Iran.  A major search and rescue operation is underway.

Iran’s Interior Minister, Ahmad Vahidi, stated that “the esteemed president and company were on their way back aboard some helicopters and one of the helicopters was forced to make a hard landing due to the bad weather and fog.”

Tasnim News Agency posted on “X” about the helicopter crash and provided the following photograph of President Raisi arriving in Azerbaijan this morning:

President Ebrahim Raisi in Azerbaijan (5/19/2024) | via Tasnim News Agency

President Raisi was visiting the border with Azerbaijan with Azerbaijan’s President, Ilham Aliyev, to inaugurate a dam.  The visit came despite strained relations between the two countries following a 2023 gun attack on Azerbaijan’s Embassy in Tehran and Azerbaijan’s diplomatic relations with Israel – which Iran’s Shiite theocracy views as its main enemy in the region.

The AP News report may be read HERE.

Clearly this situation has the potential for significant worldwide impact.  Once the status of President Raisi and the other passengers are known or released, FGGAM will provide updates as warranted.

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