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Iran’s President and Foreign Minister in suspected helicopter crash

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Iran's President and Foreign Minister are missing in a suspected helicopter crash. Rescue efforts are underway.
Iran president helicopter-crash

A search and rescue effort is underway in Iran, after a suspected helicopter crash involving the country’s President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

Heavy fog and mountainous terrain are hampering rescue efforts, according to state media reports.

Here’s what we know.

Suspected helicopter crash

The pair were returning to Iran from the opening ceremony of a new dam on the country’s border with Azerbaijan when it’s believed their helicopter crashed.

Iranian state media reports a signal was received from the helicopter and the mobile phone of a passenger, as rescuers attempt to pinpoint the helicopter’s exact location in foggy conditions.

Iran’s President is not the country’s most powerful leader. Its head of state is the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In a televised address, Khamenei asked Iranians to “pray for the health” of the missing leaders.

Global reaction

A UN spokesperson said Secretary-General António Guterres “hopes for the safety of the president and his entourage”.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said they are “closely following reports”. Russia – a key ally of Iran – said it is “ready to extend all necessary help” in the search effort.

Turkey, Iraq, and the European Union have all offered to help the rescue operation.

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