In a tragic incident, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian have lost their lives in a helicopter crash. The devastating news was confirmed by Reza Amiri Moghadam, Iran’s Ambassador to Pakistan, in a social media post.

“Utmost dejected & grievously dolorous I have to announce that President Seyed Ebrahim Raisi & FM Hussain Amirabdollahian, embraced Shahadat in consequence to a helicopter crash during a mission to Inaugurate a developmental project with a neighboring country,” wrote Moghadam on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The incident occurred on Sunday while President Raisi, 63, and Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian were returning from an official visit to the border with Azerbaijan. The helicopter crashed over mountainous terrain due to inclement weather conditions. All passengers onboard, including other officials, were reportedly killed in the crash.

An anonymous senior Iranian official told Reuters, “President Raisi, the foreign minister and all the passengers in the helicopter were killed in the crash.” Iran’s Mehr news agency also confirmed the fatalities, stating that “all passengers of the helicopter” were “martyred”.

The crash has severely hampered search and rescue operations due to the challenging weather conditions and difficult mountain terrain. Despite the adverse circumstances, state television broadcasted prayers for the deceased and live coverage of the ongoing search efforts.

The helicopter crash reportedly followed Raisi’s inauguration of a dam project on the Iran-Azerbaijan border, attended by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Initially, Iranian authorities had only confirmed a rough landing of one of the helicopters in the president’s convoy in East Azerbaijan province, but subsequent reports revealed the tragic outcome.

The loss of President Raisi and Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian marks a profound moment of grief for Iran, with national and international implications given their prominent roles in the country’s political landscape.