Iranian President Raisi apparently in mortal danger after helicopter crash

Iranian President Raisi apparently in mortal danger after helicopter crash
Ebrahim Raisi

According to an insider, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is in mortal danger after a helicopter crash. This also applies to Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, the Reuters news agency learned on Sunday from an insider who did not want to be named. “We still have hope, but the information coming from the crash site is very disturbing,” the insider continued.

“Hard landing”

The helicopter crashed while flying over mountainous terrain in thick fog on the way back from a visit to the border with Azerbaijan. Iranian Interior Minister Ahmed Vahidi confirmed an incident with a helicopter from the president’s fleet and spoke of a “hard landing”. However, he left open whether Raisi and Amirabdollahian were on board the helicopter in question, as the state news agency IRNA reported.

According to Iranian agency reports, Raisi was returning from a visit to the border with Azerbaijan. The bad weather is hampering rescue efforts, IRNA reported. The 63-year-old Raisi has been the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran since summer 2021.

About the person: Ebrahim Raisi

Ebrahim Raisi, President of Iran since August 2021, is considered an ultra-conservative hardliner. As the preferred candidate and protégé of religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, he won the presidential election in June 2021 with almost 62 percent of the vote. The now 63-year-old cleric officially became the successor to the more moderate Hassan Rouhani, who was no longer allowed to run after two terms in office.

Born in 1960 in Mashhad in northeastern Iran, Raisi is considered very influential within the Islamic system. He also maintains a close relationship with Khamenei. According to the constitution, Raisi is head of government, while actual power is concentrated in the head of state Khamenei, who has the final say in all strategic matters.

Raisi worked in the judiciary for over three decades and was appointed head of the judiciary in 2019. He is said to have been responsible for numerous arrests and executions of political dissidents in his previous role as a public prosecutor.

In autumn 2022, the death of the Iranian Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini sparked massive protests in Iran. The young woman died in police custody after being arrested by moral police for violating Islamic dress codes. As a result, tens of thousands of people demonstrated across the country against the government’s repressive course and the Islamic system of rule.

The security forces responded with violence and harsh punishments. Tens of thousands of demonstrators were arrested, many were killed during the protests and several were executed. The protests plunged the political leadership into its worst crisis in decades.

The EU decided several times to impose sanctions against Iran – because of human rights violations, but also because of Iranian support for the Russian war against Ukraine. At the same time, there is growing concern that Iran will become a nuclear power. The international nuclear negotiations with Tehran have reached a dead end. Relations with the West also deteriorated under Raisi’s government.

Iran is deeply hostile to Israel. In April, Iran attacked Israel for the first time not through regional proxies such as the Houthi rebels in Yemen or the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon, but directly – in response to the bombing of the Iranian embassy compound in Syria’s capital Damascus. This attack also fueled fears of further escalation in the Middle East.

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Source: Nachrichten

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