Iranian president’s helicopter drama: Hard landing sparks alarm

Iranian state media reported a tragic incident involving a helicopter transporting President Ebrahim Raisi, detailing a hard landing on Sunday. The aircraft, reportedly carrying Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian as well, encountered challenging weather conditions, hampering rescue efforts, as conveyed by the Interior Minister.

The status of those aboard the helicopter remains uncertain, with no contact established as of now. President Raisi, reportedly en route to Tabriz from Azerbaijan’s border, where he inaugurated dams, faced heavy fog during the journey, complicating search operations near the anticipated landing site, approximately 50 kilometres north of Tabriz.

Ahmad Alirezabeigi, Iranian MP for Tabriz, disclosed to Tehran-based reporters that the rescue teams have yet to pinpoint the helicopter’s location. Despite this setback, the other two helicopters in the convoy landed safely. Notably, additional officials are believed to have been aboard the missing aircraft.

Footage aired on state television captures worshippers in Mashhad offering prayers for the president’s well-being, underscoring the nation’s collective concern. Meanwhile, a spokesperson from the US State Department informed CBS News of their close monitoring of the situation.

Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian President since August 2021, is a pivotal figure in Iran’s political landscape.

Known for his conservative stance, Raisi has a background in law and judiciary, previously serving as the Chief Justice of Iran. His rise to power signifies a shift towards more hardline policies domestically and internationally.

Raisi’s presidency comes at a crucial juncture, marked by economic challenges, regional tensions, and ongoing negotiations regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

His leadership style and approach to governance continue to shape Iran’s trajectory, drawing attention both domestically and on the global stage.

In related news, the Thai government assured that contingency plans are in place to safeguard Thai nationals in Israel, should Iran follow through on its threat to attack. This follows the evacuation of approximately 8,000 Thai workers from Israel after the attack initiated by Hamas on October 7 last year.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin revealed that most workers have returned to Israel for work.

“It’s the government’s duty to ensure their safety. While their return to Israel is by choice, it’s undeniable that the Thai economy fails to retain these workers.”

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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