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A handout photograph furnished by the Iranian presidency captures a moment wherein Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi (left) convenes with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev preceding the inaugural ceremony of Qiz Qalasi, the third dam collaboratively constructed by Iran and Azerbaijan along the Aras River.

President Raisi’s helicopter crashes in Iran
President Raisi’s helicopter crashes in Iran

Amidst a murky landscape and the obscurity of night, rescue squads grapple with the treacherous conditions as they strive to pinpoint the crash location.

The European Commission has activated Copernicus, its satellite cartography apparatus, to assist in the response efforts, according to crisis management commissioner Janez Lenarcic via X.

Iraq has mobilized its interior ministry, the Red Crescent, and other agencies to bolster the search endeavors.

Upon confirmation of President Raisi’s helicopter vanishing, fervent appeals were made for Iranians to invoke prayers for the safety of all aboard.

The government remains reticent on issuing formal declarations regarding the incident, citing the numerous unresolved particulars.

Uncertainty shrouds the specifics of the helicopters involved in transporting Raisi and his entourage, be they military or Red Crescent aircraft.

Iran’s helicopter fleet, encompassing many pre-dating the 1979 Islamic revolution, faces ongoing challenges in maintenance and procurement of spare parts due to sanctions and fiscal limitations.

In the event of President Raisi’s incapacity, First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, aged 69, is poised to assume leadership, contingent upon the Supreme Leader’s endorsement following official confirmation of the president’s demise or incapacitation.

Subsequent to this, an election must be convened within a maximum of 50 days. The presidential elections were initially slated for 2025.

Supreme Leader Khamenei has assured the populace of uninterrupted governance.

Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst, contends that Iran’s robust political framework and entrenched governing elite possess the resilience to withstand any upheaval resulting from Raisi’s incapacitation, supported by its entrenched system of checks and balances.

Did all three helicopters disappear?

Yes, it has been reported that all three helicopters in the convoy have gone missing. The precise details of their disappearance remain unclear, adding to the urgency and complexity of the search efforts.

What’s the problem? Why can’t they find the helicopter passengers?

The primary issue is the challenging terrain and adverse weather conditions. The area where the helicopters are believed to have gone down is characterized by rugged, muddy landscapes that become even more perilous at night. This has significantly hampered the ability of rescue teams to locate the crash site and the passengers.

What’s the latest on the ground? Is anyone helping?

Currently, rescue operations are underway, albeit with considerable difficulty. The European Commission has deployed its Copernicus satellite mapping system to assist in the search and rescue efforts. Additionally, Iraq has mobilized its interior ministry, the Red Crescent, and various other agencies to join the search for the missing helicopters and their passengers.

How are people feeling? What are they saying?

The news of President Raisi’s helicopter disappearance has caused widespread concern and anxiety among the Iranian populace. Calls for prayers for the safety of President Raisi and all those onboard have proliferated. The government has been relatively silent, refraining from issuing detailed statements as many aspects of the situation remain uncertain. This silence has led to a mixture of fear and hope among the people, as they await more concrete information about the fate of their president and his companions.

What Happened?

President Ebrahim Raisi’s helicopter crashed under unclear circumstances in Iran. Initial reports suggest mechanical failure or adverse weather conditions might have played a role, but an official investigation is still ongoing. The crash has led to widespread speculation and anxiety both domestically and internationally.

Who’s in Charge in Iran While the President is Missing or if He Dies?

In Iran, if the president is incapacitated or missing, the First Vice President assumes presidential duties temporarily. The current First Vice President, Mohammad Mokhber, would step in to manage the country’s affairs. In the event of the president’s death, new elections would be organized to elect a successor.

What’s the Problem?

The primary problem is the lack of immediate information and clarity regarding the president’s condition and the specifics of the crash. This uncertainty can lead to instability and confusion within the government and among the public. Additionally, the crash raises questions about the safety and security protocols surrounding high-ranking officials in Iran.

Why Can’t They Find the Helicopter Passengers?

Several factors could contribute to the difficulty in locating the helicopter passengers:

  1. Remote Location: The crash might have occurred in a remote or hard-to-reach area, making rescue and recovery operations challenging.
  2. Weather Conditions: Poor weather could be hampering search efforts.
  3. Security Concerns: There may be security measures in place that delay the release of information or access to the crash site.
  4. Communication Breakdown: The crash could have damaged communication equipment, making it harder to coordinate the search efforts.

Overall, the situation is fluid and developing, with rescue teams and authorities working tirelessly to uncover more details and locate the missing passengers.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

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