Iran’s President, foreign minister’s bodies found at chopper crash site

21 May,2024 07:43 AM IST |  Dubai  |  Agencies

Copter carrying Ebrahim Raisi and other officials crashed in foggy, mountainous region of Iran’s northwest

Rescuers recovering bodies at the site of President Ebrahim Raisi’s helicopter crash in a fog-shrouded mountainous area of northwest Iran. Pic/AFP

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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the country's foreign minister and several other officials were found dead on Monday, hours after their helicopter crashed in a foggy, mountainous region of the country's northwest, state media reported.

The crash comes as the Middle East remains unsettled by the Israel-Hamas war, during which Raisi, who was 63, under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei launched an unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel just last month.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (right) and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in a file photo. Pic/AFP

During Raisi's term in office, Iran enriched uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels, further escalating tensions with the West as Tehran also supplied bomb-carrying drones to Russia for its war in Ukraine and armed militia groups across the region.

Meanwhile, Iran has faced years of mass protests against its Shiite theocracy over its ailing economy and women's rights--making the moment that much more sensitive for Tehran and the future of the country.

Khamenei hours later announced Iran's first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, would serve as the country's acting president until elections are held.

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