Iranian President, Foreign Minister and Others Killed in Helicopter Crash

wilayattimes (Iran)

Tehran| WTNS | May 20: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his companions, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, were confirmed to have been killed after their helicopter crashed in northwestern Iran on Sunday.

The tragic accident happened as the president and his entourage were returning from Khoda Afarin region in Iran’s northwestern province of East Azarbaijan after inaugurating a dam at the common border with the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The crash has killed President Raisi, Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian, Friday prayers leader of Tabriz Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Al-e-Hashem, Governor of East Azarbaijan Malek Rahmati, and members of the president’s security team and the crew.

Among the dead was Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, 60. The helicopter also carried the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, a senior cleric from Tabriz, three crew members and a Revolutionary Guard official, the crash killed nine people in all, including three crew members, aboard the Bell helicopter, which Iran purchased in the early 2000s.

The wreckage of the helicopter was found by rescue teams in the wee hours of Monday.

The president’s convoy included three helicopters. Two of the choppers carrying a number of ministers and officials had landed safely in the foggy weather.

Iran’s first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, will take over with the supreme leader’s approval, based on Article 131 of the Islamic Republic’s constitution.

The article also clarifies that a council consisting of the head of the legislation, the head of the judiciary and the vice president must coordinate choosing a new president within 50 days.

In a statement issued Monday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei applied the article and assented Mokhber as acting president.