Iran halts air search for President Raisi's crashed helicopter due to weather conditions

Iran has announced that it has halted air searches for the helicopter that crashed carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. 

The announcement came from Babak Yektaparast, spokesperson for the emergency services organization, citing weather conditions such as intense fog during the onset of nightfall as a reason for the suspension.

“Unfortunately, continuing aerial operations was no longer possible due to intense fog across the region,” Yektaparast said, according to Al Jazeera. He also stated that additional ambulances had been dispatched to the crash site.

Air ambulances are on standby in nearby cities Tabriz and Tehran, ready to assist once weather conditions improve.

The helicopter reportedly suffered a "crash landing" in Iran's East Azerbaijan province as President Raisi was traveling to Tabriz after returning from the Iran-Azerbaijan border. Raisi had been visiting the border region to inaugurate a dam alongside Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

Among Raisi in the crash were Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s East Azerbaijan Province Governor Malek Rahmati, and Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, state media has confirmed. 

Two other helicopters were traveling in the convoy but returned safely to Tabriz.

The current condition of President Raisi remains unclear, and rescue efforts are ongoing despite the challenging weather. Iranian state media reportedly asked the country's citizens to pray as search crews continue their efforts. 

Image: Title: iran helicopter