Internet InfoMedia helicopter carrying irans president has crashed state media reports
Farnaz Fassihi


May 19, 2024, 11:03 a.m. ET

May 19, 2024, 11:03 a.m. ET

A helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi crashed on Sunday, according to Iran’s state media and the country’s mission to the United Nations, but has yet to be found by search-and-rescue workers because of heavy fog.

The helicopter was also carrying Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Iran’s foreign minister.

The state news agency IRNA reported that an enormous search operation involving 16 teams was underway to locate the helicopter. Inclement weather, the reports said, was hampering the effort. The teams had yet to locate the crash site after almost five hours.

State media has yet to report on casualties or confirm the whereabouts or condition of the president. The cause of the crash is also unknown.

“Given the complexities of the region, connection has been difficult, and we are hoping that the rescue teams reach the helicopter and can give us more information,” Ahmad Vahidi, Iran’s interior minister, told state television.

Videos airing on Iranian state television showed rescue teams driving along mountain roads in thick fog and teams walking on green hills wearing the red and white vests of emergency teams. Rescue dogs were also being dispatched, according to state media.

Mr. Raisi was on an official visit to northwestern Iran. A delegation of ministers traveled with him in a convoy of three helicopters, state media reported, adding that the two other aircraft had reached their destinations.

Here are the latest developments:

  • The government canceled a planned cabinet meeting and instead convened an emergency meeting with the country’s crisis management committee, state media reported.

  • Iran’s law stipulates that if the president dies, power is transferred to the first vice president and that an election must be called within six months. The first vice president is Mohammad Mokhber, a conservative politician.

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