Updated May 19th, 2024 at 22:32 IST

Last Pit Stop Iranian President Raisi Made Before His Chopper Went Missing

The accident took place as Raisi was returning from a trip to Azerbaijan where he was involved in inaugurating a new jointly developed dam project.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Iranian President Raisi speaking with his counterpart Ilham Aliyev during the inauguration of the Qiz Qalasi dam. | Image:AP
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New Delhi: A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian reportedly suffered a ‘hard landing’ on Sunday in the East Azerbaijan province. Efforts to locate the helicopter are ongoing, with foggy weather conditions and difficult local terrain impeding the search and rescue process. One anonymous Iranian official told Reuters that while the authorities were ‘hopeful’ at the moment, “information coming from the crash site is very concerning.”

The accident, which as noted above, is being characterised as a ‘hard landing’ by official sources, took place as the President and his entourage were returning from a visit to Azerbaijan where Raisi had a meeting with President Ilham Aliyev. 

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During the visit, the pair inaugurated the Qiz Qalasi Dam which local reports say is the largest joint water project between the two countries. Previously, Iran and Azerbaijan also cooperated in the construction of the Aras and Khoda-Afarin dams, according to a report by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).  

On the sidelines of the inauguration, the two leaders reportedly discussed other bilateral issues and regional developments. The inauguration of the new hydropower project is being seen as a significant development as bilateral ties between the two nations have been strained in recent years with Iran long rumoured to have supported Armenia in its conflict against neighbouring Azerbaijan. 

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Published May 19th, 2024 at 22:22 IST