Iranian President, Foreign Minister Dead After Helicopter Incident

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has been confirmed dead after a helicopter he was on with other officials experienced a hard landing on Sunday.

According to Iranian State TV, the helicopter carrying Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and other officials, had crashed in a mountainous region in the country’s northwest. The crash site was across a steep valley. While state TV said that the hard landing occurred near Jolfa, a city on the border with the nation of Azerbaijan, roughly 375 miles northwest of Tehran, it later said the helicopter crashed further east near the village of Uzi.

There was reportedly “no sign of life” at the crash site where the helicopter made a “hard landing” on Sunday.

The Iranian Red Crescent Society Pir Hossein Kolivand told state media that the helicopter was sighted over 12 hours after the officials had been missing.

The immediate cause for the crash has not been determined.

Reports around the incident have been largely contradictory, as a local government officials has described it as a “crash,” while some have called it an “incident” or a “hard landing.”

In comments aired on state TV on the incident before the helicopter was found, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahid said, “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.”

“Various rescue teams are on their way to the region, but because of the poor weather and fogginess, it might take time for them to reach the helicopter,” he continued.