Iran's president Raisi, FM die in helicopter crash: state TV

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian died in a helicopter crash, state-run IRIB TV reported Monday.

Due to the bad weather, the helicopter carrying Raisi and other senior officials was forced into a hard landing in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan on Sunday.

The other members of Raisi's accompanying team, including East Azarbaijan's Governor Malek Rahmati, and the Friday prayers leader Tabriz Mohammad Ali Ale-Hasehem, as well as the flight crew also lost their lives, the report said.

The tragedy occurred while Raisi was on his way from Khoda Afarin County, where he had attended the inauguration ceremony of a storage dam, to the provincial capital Tabriz for the inauguration of a petrochemical complex.

Media reports said images show the helicopter crashed into a mountain peak. State news agency IRNA said Raisi was flying in a U.S.-made Bell 212 helicopter.

Fog and rain had hampered the search operation before rescuers spotted the helicopter earlier in the day.