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Iranian state TV announces the killing of president Raisi and his accompanying delegation in a helicopter crash incident

Iranian state television announced on Monday, May 20, the killing of Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi and all the accompanying officials in a helicopter crash.

The incident happened after the helicopter carrying the president Raisi and a number of officials experienced a “difficult landing” in eastern Azerbaijan province following his inaugurating a dam on the two countries’ borders with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev.

Reuters quoted an Iranian official as saying: “The helicopter of Iranian president has completely burned in a crash incident, pointing out that anticipations of Rasis’s survival are low.”

For its part, Anadolu Agency said: “The Turkish government shared the coordinates with the Iranian authorities, and the Turkish Akinci drone detected early on Monday a source of heat suspected to be the wreckage of a helicopter carrying Rasisi and his delegation.”

The state agency reported on Sunday that 16 rescue teams were sent to the region, pointing out that the weather conditions are hampering the search operation due to impassability of the area amid dense fog.

In view of the recent events that have taken place, the Iranian Constitution will apply Article 131 related to the administration of the country in the event that the position of president becomes vacant before the end of the term for emergency reasons.

Under the constitutional article, the First Vice President, with the approval of the Supreme Commander, assumes the powers of the president, and the First Vice President must hold early presidential elections within a maximum period of 50 days in coordination with both the heads of the legislative (Shura/Parliament) and judicial branches. The Speaker of Parliament is entrusted with forming a council to run the country’s affairs, while the judiciary works to prepare for holding elections.

Accordingly, Mohammed Mukhber Dezfuli (68 years old) will temporarily assume the duties of President of the Republic until the early presidential elections are held.

It is noteworthy that the crashed helicopter was carrying Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi, his Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the Governor of East Azerbaijan, Malek Rahmati, Muhammad Ali Al Hashem (the imam for Friday prayers of Tabriz Province), an escort and leader of the Iranian president’s escort team, the pilot, the co-pilot, and the cabin crew assistant.

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