BREAKING: Search underway for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi after helicopter crash in East Azerbaijan

A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian reportedly suffered a "crash landing" while crossing mountain terrain, according to Iranian state media on Sunday. The current condition of President Raisi remains unclear as rescue efforts are complicated by adverse weather conditions.

State media reported that over 40 rescue teams, including drones and search dogs, have been deployed to locate the crash site. However, severe weather and heavy fog have impeded air rescue operations.

The incident occurred while the officials were returning from the northwestern border shared with Azerbaijan. President Raisi had been inaugurating a dam alongside Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

Iranian media has asked its citizens to offer prayers as Raisi's condition is unknown at this time. An Iranian official who spoke to Reuters confirmed that the lives of both Raisi and Amirabdollahian were "at risk" following the helicopter crash.

"We are still hopeful but information coming from the crash site is very concerning," the official stated.

An Iranian state television reporter explained that rescue crews approaching the site are forced to travel by foot due to the roads not being paved and the current weather conditions making the ground muddy from rain.

The Iranianian Students' News Agency (ISNA) also posted a photo of the helicopter in a post on X.

Should Raisi be found dead, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Mokhber will assume the presidency after being approved by Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The country will then be required to elect a new president within 50 days.

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