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INNA LILLAH WA INNA ILAYHI RAJIUN: Sayyed Raeisi, Amir-Abdollahian, companions martyred in chopper crash after night-long search op.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian have died in a helicopter crash in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan.

The helicopter carrying President Raeisi and his accompanying delegation crashed on Sunday in the Dizmar forest, nestled between the cities of Varzaqan and Jolfa in East Azarbaijan Province.

It was transporting Raeisi, Amir-Abdollahian, East Azarbaijan Governor Malek Rahmati, Friday Prayers leader of the city of Tabriz Seyyed Mohammad Ali Al-e Hashem and a member of the president’s bodyguard team Mahdi Mousavi. The helicopter’s pilot, co-pilot and crew were also among others on board the chopper.

President Raeisi and his accompanying delegation were returning from a ceremony to inaugurate a dam on the Aras River with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

Following the announcement of the martyrdom of Raeisi and his team, the cabinet held an emergency session headed by Vice President Mohammad Mokhber.

In a statement, the cabinet extended condolences to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and the Iranian nation over the martyrdom of President Raeisi and his companions.

It assured the “loyal, appreciative and beloved” Iranian nation that President Raeisi’s path will continue and not even a slight disruption will be caused in administrating the country’s affairs.

Ayatollah Khamenei on Sunday said the nation should not be worried or anxious, because “there will be no disruption to the work of the country.”

In televised remarks in the wee hours of Monday morning, Pir-Hossein Kolivand, head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS), said rescue teams have located the wreckage of the helicopter.

He later told the Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN) that the search operation for the bodies of the victims has finished and the bodies are being transferred to the provincial capital of Tabriz.

[This item will be updated.]

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