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Iranian President Plane Crash: Ebrahim Raisi Confirmed Dead in Tragic Accident

Iranian President Plane Crash

Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi confirmed dead in plane crash

The tragic helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister has left Iran in mourning and uncertainty. The cause of the crash remains unknown, but the wreckage was found in rugged terrain after a search in challenging conditions. With President Raisi’s death, Vice President Mohsen Mansouri confirmed the news on social media, and according to the Iranian constitution, the first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, will temporarily take over until a new election is held within 50 days.

China, a key partner of Iran, expressed concern and pledged support for rescue efforts, highlighting the close relationship between the two countries. Meanwhile, the United States has urged China to use its influence to control regional tensions, but China’s response has been supportive of Iran, emphasizing their strategic partnership.

Key Concepts

  • Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash in rugged terrain.
  • The cause of the crash has not been disclosed, but the wreckage was located in a snowstorm.
  • Vice President Mohsen Mansouri confirmed President Raisi’s death on social media.
  • The Iranian constitution dictates that the first vice president will temporarily take over in case of the president’s death.
  • China, a close partner of Iran, expressed deep concern over the incident and pledged support to rescue efforts.
  • China is Iran’s largest trading partner and buyer of sanctioned Iranian oil.
  • Beijing has played a significant role in arming and supporting Iran, including modernizing its military hardware.
  • The United States has urged China to use its influence over Iran to control regional tensions.

The helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister crashed on Sunday (May 19) while flying over the mountains in heavy fog. Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported on Monday (May 20) that all passengers were killed.

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Iranian Vice President Mohsen Mansouri subsequently issued a statement on social media platforms, confirming the death of the president.

A senior Iranian official said earlier: “President Raisi, the foreign minister, and all passengers on the helicopter were killed in the crash.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

President Leahy, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, and two other officials were returning to Iran from neighboring Azerbaijan on the helicopter.

Iranian state television reported that the scene showed the plane crashed into a mountain, but officials did not disclose the cause of the crash. The rescue team braved the snowstorm to search in rugged terrain. After working all night, they confirmed the location of the plane wreckage in the early hours of Monday morning.

An Iranian official told Reuters: “President Raisi’s helicopter was completely burned in the crash… Unfortunately, I’m afraid all passengers were killed.”

Leahy, 63, was elected president in 2021. Since taking office, he has tightened ethics laws, overseen a bloody crackdown on anti-government protests, and pushed hard for nuclear talks with world powers.

In Iran’s political system, Supreme Religious Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the final say on foreign policy and Iran’s nuclear program.

Khamenei had earlier tried to reassure Iranians, saying national affairs would not be disrupted.

Iran’s constitution states that if the president dies or becomes incapacitated, the first vice president will temporarily take over, and a new presidential election will be held within 50 days. The first vice president of Iran is Mohammad Mokhber.

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Before the Iranian president was confirmed to have died in the crash, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Monday morning that China was deeply concerned about the “hard landing incident” and wished President Leahy and everyone on board the plane safe and sound.

“We are paying close attention to the relevant situation and will provide all necessary support and assistance to Iraq’s rescue efforts,” the statement added.

China is a close partner of Iran. China has been Iran’s largest trading partner for more than ten consecutive years. The trade volume between the two countries will reach US$15.8 billion in 2022, a year-on-year increase of 7%. China is the largest buyer of sanctioned Iranian oil, and Chinese companies also provide security and surveillance equipment to Iran.

Beijing has also long played a key role in arming Iran, helping it modernize its military hardware and tactics. According to the Rand Corporation, Beijing also facilitated “technology and machinery transfers” for Iran’s illicit nuclear program.

Since the outbreak of the war between Israel and Hamas, the United States has repeatedly called on China to use its influence over Tehran to control regional tensions, but China’s performance has disappointed Israel and the United States. China’s foreign ministry praised Iran’s “restraint” and reaffirmed the strategic partnership after Iran launched an unprecedented attack on Israel last month.

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