On Sunday, a helicopter transporting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi crashed after a visit to the northwestern border with Azerbaijan.

Iranian officials reported to Reuters that the lives of President Raisi and Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian were “at risk following the helicopter crash.” Vice President Mohammad Mokhber led an emergency cabinet meeting following the incident, focused on search and rescue operations.  

President Raisi was returning from a ceremony honoring the opening of a dam when the crash occurred over the Varzaqan region. Iranian state media reported that poor weather conditions were the likely cause.  

Iran is conducting an extensive search and rescue operation involving commando units, Special Forces, drones, sniffer dogs, and more than twenty search and rescue teams.


UPDATE: 2:32 p.m. EST – Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged to assist in the rescue effort. “Russia is ready to extend all necessary help in the search for the missing helicopter and the investigation of the reasons for the incident,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

UPDATE: 10:35 p.m. EST – Representatives from the Red Crescent have found the location of the crashed helicopter. Officials have not yet confirmed status of the victims of the crash.

Stay tuned to VT.com as the story develops.  

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