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Helicopter with country's president on board crashes in Iran

One of three helicopters in the motorcade of the country’s President Ebrahim Raisi crashed in Iran. BBC reported citing the state television of Iran.

According to preliminary data, the helicopter with Raisi on board «made a hard landing». The governor of East Azerbaijan Province and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian were also with the head of state.

State television said the incident took place near the city of Jolfa, about 600 kilometers northwest of Tehran.

Raisi was returning from Azerbaijan, where he had attended a dam opening ceremony with the country’s President Ilham Aliyev.

Iranian media specify: the crash was first reported by a local government official. But in an interview with an Iranian newspaper, the official admitted that he was not at the scene of the accident.

Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi confirmed the crash of the helicopter and said that they expect the arrival of rescue teams.

Experts call dense fog a possible cause of the accident. It also prevents the helicopter from being found. A large-scale search operation involving Red Crescent rescuers, military and police continues.

As the Air Force reported, there are quite a lot of helicopters in Iran. But international sanctions make it hard to repair and maintain them. The country’s air fleet was largely formed before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.