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Tension as Copter Carrying Iranian President Suffers Hard Landing Amid Rescue Operations (Video)

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Tension as Copter Carrying Iranian President Suffers Hard Landing Amid Rescue Operations (Video)

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi makes a hard landing in East Azerbaijan Province, Iranian media reported Sunday.

Iranian state TV mentioned that the helicopter was one of three carrying Raisi and his accompanying delegation of senior officials, which also included Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and the Friday Prayers Imam of Tabriz, in addition to other officials.

The TV added that Raisi’s helicopter was forced to land due to bad weather conditions. It confirmed that rescue teams had headed to the scene of the incident, adding that the bad weather conditions in the western region of Iran were hindering the rescue teams’ access to the location.

Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi told state TV that “various rescue groups are moving toward the site, but due to the fog and bad weather, it may take time to reach the area,” adding that “operations are under control.”

Vahidi explained that “there have been contacts with [the president’s] companions, but given that the area is mountainous and it is difficult to establish contacts,” expressing hope that “rescue teams will reach the site of the incident sooner and give us more information.”

Iran’s Nour News Agency said that 16 relief teams headed to the area, but the mountainous terrain in the forest and bad weather conditions are hindering relief operations.

It added that relief teams arrived an hour later at the scene of the incident in Varzeghan and began search operations immediately.

Local Iranian media have reported that it is heavily raining in the area in Varzeghan District, and it is hard for the rescue and search teams to walk in the dense fog.

Al Mayadeen’s correspondent in Iran said that the location of the Iranian president’s helicopter has been identified near the village of Uzi in the Arasbaran forests, pointing out that the weather conditions and the geographical nature of the location are hindering access to the site of the incident.

Iranian Red Crescent President Pir Hossein Kolivand told Iranian television that 40 teams are participating in the search operations for the Iranian president’s helicopter, but due to bad weather conditions, aerial search operations cannot continue.

The spokesperson for the Iranian government confirmed that a cabinet meeting will be held today to discuss the latest developments, including the president’s helicopter incident.

Meanwhile, the Iranian government’s Crisis Management Committee held an emergency session to follow up on the search operations, our correspondent said.

According to Al Mayadeen’s correspondent, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Mokhber has headed to Tabriz to oversee the search operations.

Publicly, Iranian media published footage of Iranians praying and hoping for the safety of Raisi and his accompanying delegation at the Imam Reza shrine in the city of Mashhad.

Earlier on Sunday, Raisi had arrived at Tabriz Airport to participate in the inauguration ceremony of the joint Qiz Qalasi dam on the Aras River, which borders Iran and Azerbaijan, in the presence of his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev.

AL MAYADEEN

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